Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites


Thread Closed  Topic Closed
  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Places
  Displaying Apollo 1 at Grissom Air Museum (Page 2)

Post New Topic  
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Displaying Apollo 1 at Grissom Air Museum
chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-17-2010 08:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hlbjr:
Gus's 4th Fighter Wing will have the yellow ID band on the vertical stabilizer as well as on the wing and fuselage.
Thank you very much! We hope to make a beautiful display out of the F-86. Also know that the one that we are getting was on display outside and going down hill fast. We are saving this airframe, and once completed, will be displayed indoors.

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-17-2010 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also just wanted to mention that for anyone that is on facebook, please check out the Grissom Air Museum Facebook page. We will be on warbirdradio.com on Monday morning at 10A.M. for anyone interested. Thanks

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-17-2010 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chenry:
What we imagine is a long hallway with the CM at the end of the hallway in it's own display area. The room will be painted black, no music, and just an American Flag hanging. Theatre style lighting will illuminate the area.
Again, I may well be a lone voice. Are you creating a shrine or an exhibit?

If the Apollo 1 capsule must be displayed I go along with all your suggestions - but black?

I'm certain that you can achieve the same effect with simple subdued lighting if you must. To have the capsule displayed in black surroundings brings me back to one of my original comments. It's morbid.

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-17-2010 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Black is used to make the capsule details stand out. It is the same reason that many air museums have black painted walls and ceilings. White and gray are also common used, however I think black is very sharp and allows us to draw the most attention to the displays. Look at the Air Force Museum buildings. Black has nothing to do with being morbid.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-17-2010 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As it exists now, the command module is separated into two large parts, its inner and outer shells. You can see photos here.

Whether those two halves can be reassembled probably needs to be assessed before display options are considered. It may even be advantageous to keep them separate, so as to better tell the story of the fire and its subsequent investigation.

I don't mind the darkened room display, the same was done for Liberty Bell 7 (though for different reasons) but like the touring exhibit for Grissom's Mercury capsule, I think it needs more than storyboards to help tell its history.

For example, were there a safe way to do so, I feel it would not be inappropriate to demonstrate that in an oxygen rich atmosphere items that are generally not considered flammable (e.g. Velcro) ignite.

Similarly, I would suggest an interactive hatch display, that demonstrates not only what was needed to open the CM-012 hatch from the inside, but how it was redesigned for the later command modules.

Such hands-on displays -- stressing the engineering lessons learned -- would help address those who suggest the exhibit is morbid, as the visitor would not just be seeing the capsule, but be engaged to learn from the experience.

Most importantly though, I would suggest there are dedicated docents who are on hand to address questions visitors may have. Ideally, they would have more than a passing understanding of the history and the engineering involved.

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-17-2010 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree. The way we are thinking, we plan on having volunteers go though a special training prior to them having any interaction with the CM. As far as display, I am just trying to rundown some ideas. Nothing in stone. We do have the ideas of multimedia displays in the area outside of the CM display. I really like that hatch idea.

cv1701
Member

Posts: 31
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 10-17-2010 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cv1701     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you want to get ideas for how to properly display the Apollo 1 CM, study and examine the presentation of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. They have taken a "morbid" subject and presented it in a way that is tasteful, somber, respectful, and educational. I have never seen a museum as emotionally moving as that one, and it was all because of how it was presented.

I would support the public display of Apollo 1 without question. There will be some who do not want it displayed, who wish for it to be put away and forgotten about, content with having the fact that the fire occurred serving as the only reminder.

But it cannot be denied that, for the majority, the public display of Apollo 1 would serve as a powerful reminder of the sacrifice of Grissom, White, and Chaffee, as well as a reminder of what happens when you lose sight of doing things right.

To leave Apollo 1 stored and slowly deteriorating, out of sight and out of mind, is a disrespect to the men who perished in it.

"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

cv1701
Member

Posts: 31
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 10-17-2010 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cv1701     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A truly morbid display is one that focuses on death. Imagine a display featuring the remains of the astronaut's spacesuits, strewn out on glass-encased examination tables for visitors to inspect, with the autopsy reports available for viewing on nearby kiosks. Now THAT is morbid. And it's morbid because it focuses on the death aspect.

Displaying the CM would not be a presentation of death, but instead would focus on the machine -- a machine created by people -- and how a desire to rush things, to not do things right, and having "go fever" caused the deaths of three people. To focus on the lessons learned, THAT is how you present it and that is what visitor's take away from a respectful, proper display of the CM.

Combined with exhibits on the astronauts lives and careers, the whole presentation becomes a celebration of the lives of Grissom, White, and Chaffee, as well as a venue for teaching the terrible lessons that were learned from the fire.

With the image of standing before the fire-charred spacecraft etched into their memories, those are lives and lessons that visitor's will never forget.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 10-18-2010 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I mean this with absolutely no disrespect for the Grissom Museum, but what is the likelihood that NASA is going to actually let a relatively small (and new) museum display one of its most signficant and certainly most controversial (just look at this thread!) artifacts? Are there any indications from NASA that it is has been reconsidering its long-held stance against displaying the capsule? I stated earlier that I'm in favor of doing so in a respectful and educational manner, but am afraid that our discussion here is pretty much academic as NASA is disinclined to open up this particular can of worms without a compelling reason.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 3023
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-18-2010 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a recurrent cost associated with the maintaining the Langley facility being borne by NASA - could be one compelling reason to permit alternate custodianship.

robsouth
Member

Posts: 607
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 10-18-2010 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whatever happened to Apollo 1's Boost Protection Cover? If it's possible to re-assemble that then why not display that as a start? It had charring around the area that the command module split, so it would evoke strong feelings when viewed. The BPC hatch could be left open and a mock up of the interior displayed. Maybe focusing on the rescue attempts of the pad crew would be more fitting than making it a display about death. I also think that a black background is just too morbid, it should be a museum object not a funeral parlour.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-18-2010 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by robsouth:
I also think that a black background is just too morbid, it should be a museum object not a funeral parlour.

Not alone after all.

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 10-18-2010 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not against displaying the Apollo 1 CSM, but I don't think it belongs in a Grissom Museum no more than Kennedy's limo belongs at the Kennedy library. It would be very difficult to separate the feeling of loss for a great man like Grissom with the education one could attain from seeing what killed him.

I agree with Robert that there are things to be learned about Apollo 1 that could educate. That is why it belongs along side all the other successes and failures of the aviation and space age in places that educate like the NASM or the Air Force Museum in Dayton.

It would also get its highest exposure to those it may possibly have a tendency to educate rather than contribute to the ultimate feeling of loss and sadness that the Grissom Museum's story has to unfortunately and ultimately end with. There is no way to candy coat that.

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-18-2010 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We are in communications with NASA so that is a start. They have been very great to deal with. While I agree with the fact that it belongs in a museum like the NASM or NMUSAF, neither of those museums have requested it. All we can do is see what takes place. I will keep you posted.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 10-18-2010 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To reiterate a point made previously, if NASA were to release the capsule, the Smithsonian gets it by rights. It would be up to the Smithsonian to decide whether or not to loan it to another museum.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-18-2010 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not exactly; were NASA to decide to release the capsule, the Smithsonian would be given first right of refusal, but the institution could then pass on it freeing the space agency to award it to another entity.

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-18-2010 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is correct, although the NASM has some politics issues that I think would make them not want the CM.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-18-2010 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even before NASA offers artifacts to the Smithsonian though, it first polls its own centers if the item can still be of use within the agency, and that includes for display at its own visitor centers.

Without speaking out of turn, I can tell you from past conversations that at least one NASA visitor center is interested in displaying the Apollo 1 command module...

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-18-2010 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is correct. NASM only gets to have and display or loan out the items after NASA decides what they will keep at one of their centers. I am sure that it will be a battle to get the CM, but I figure if we don't try, we stand no chance at all of getting it.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 10-19-2010 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's a great attitude for a small museum to have: think big. I wish you guys the best of luck in getting NASA to reassess the fate of Apollo 204, as it would be a service to the entire space community (at least in my opinion).

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-19-2010 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If anyone is interested, and would like to listen to our broadcast on warbird radio from yesterday, check out itunes, and search warbird radio podcasts. It is on the top of the list. Thanks again.

fredtrav
Member

Posts: 913
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 10-19-2010 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you don't ask the answer is always no.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 10-21-2010 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Other questions: How much of the CM do you want displayed? Should the inside be put back together? Should the suits be displayed as well?

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-21-2010 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We would like to display the CM as a whole, with the hatch closed. The launching cover would be great as well. I think the suits would be too much.

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 10-21-2010 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect to moorogue, our fellow cSer from the U.K., I disagree that any display of the Apollo 1 capsule would be 'morbid', black paint or no paint. The Star Spangled Banner flag, newly restored and displayed at the Smithsonian American History Museum, does use dark walls and subdued lighting to tell a story of men who fought (and died) during the War of 1812. It uses the flag and other artifacts to put the event in its context.

Another artifact which could be interpreted as morbid is the B-29 Enola Gay, exhibited at the NASM's Udvar-Hazy. I went to the temporary exhibit in the mall building in 1995, when the nose section, landing gear and photos were the only display items. As many of you know, there was a passionate debate about putting photos and text recounting the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing and the arguments against the mission in 1945. A groundswell of veterans' protests ensued, and a 'just the facts' exhibit was put up instead (the NASM Director resigned shortly afterward). The argument against the exhibit was it was too political, and unworthy of inclusion in a strictly technology/science oriented museum-but the context in which it could have been interpreted in was lost.

And as far as morbid exhibits/sites are concerned, what about HMS Victory in the U.K., which has a plaque marking the very spot on deck where Adm. Lord Nelson was shot during the battle of Trafalgar, and later died? Surely he was a hero in his time, as are all servicemen, combat pilots-and astronauts-today. Like the other posters who used the examples of the Holocaust museum in DC (or even the death camps), in order to learn from our historical moments, good or bad, one must shine a light on them, not bury or tear them down. We would be less fortunate in not learning from all tragedies, in war or spaceflight...

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-22-2010 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't speak for my fellow UK cSer, but there is a world of difference between a plaque marking a tragic event and the actual artifact of a terrible, horrific accident which claimed three lives.

A flag from 1812 and the nose of a B-29 bomber, devastating as its flight was, are not the same as the burnt remains of the Apollo 1 capsule.

If it has to be displayed, and I remain to be convinced that it has, then it should be so by itself with just a simple, solitary plaque to explain what happened.

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-22-2010 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are right. People may actually remember seeing the actual artifact. The plaque that is displayed at the launch pad is very nice, but is the the plaque they remember, or the launch pad remains?

I agree with you about the display.

Whatever we do it needs to be plain and to the point. Once again I only mention black as it is used to bring out the details of the capsule, but if you guys would like I can post some pictures of the are we wish to use. There is natural light in there so it will not be that dark.

robsouth
Member

Posts: 607
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 10-22-2010 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After reading all of the arguments in this topic I can’t see a problem with displaying the Apollo 1 command module. There are precedents such as the car that President Kennedy was shot in. I have also been to the spot below decks of HMS Victory where Nelson died. He was a boyhood hero of mine and when I was standing just feet away from where he finally passed away I could sense the history that had taken place in that spot. No amount of reading about it could generate how I felt being in the actual place where it took place.

Any display should put the spacecraft in the context of the overall picture of Apollo. It shouldn’t be a single display to be morbidly looked at, it should have its importance to the moon landing program clearly explained. Many an author has written that without the fire within that spacecraft it would be questionable if the moon landing would have occurred before the end of the 60’s. Its part in the success of the Apollo Program shouldn’t be underestimated or forgotten. So I say good luck to the museum in its attempts to display it.

space1
Member

Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 10-22-2010 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In relation to the parallels with the tragedy of the Kennedy assassination, I am reminded of Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX, and The Sixth Floor Museum. The events of the day are carefully and tastefully preserved at the museum, and the Plaza itself is a living memorial. I think it is possible to display Apollo 1 with recognition of its historical importance and the tragedy of that day.

chenry, I have tried to reach you by email. Please contact me at jf -at- space1.com

------------------
John Fongheiser
President
Historic Space Systems, http://www.space1.com

history in miniature
Member

Posts: 456
From: Slatington, PA U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 10-22-2010 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for history in miniature   Click Here to Email history in miniature     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My initial thoughts on this topic have been changed drastically by the thoughtfulness and insights by the postings of the museums curator, and also his receptiveness to the ideas posted here by fellow members.

Displaying the capsule with the hatch closed is what swayed my opinion, and I now feel that whatever the choice of display will be handled in an extremely delicate and thoughtful nature.

Being an artist and not an intellectual, I sometimes let my feelings cloud my decisions, and after reading all of the posts I respectfully wish to change my opinion, and wish the museum well.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-22-2010 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have a problem with displaying the capsule in a black room. However, I think it would be best done in a room with darkly painted walls and dim lighting...with a few spotlights pointed at the capsule to illumunate it. That would create an effect of the capsule floating in an infinite void, with no visual distractions around to detract from this historical artifact.

Before one enters the room containing the capsule, however, a history of the Apollo 1 mission should be laid out for visitors. The display should explain the circumstances that led to the fire, what occurred on January 27th, and what the investigation revealed. Narrative video, interviews, and photos would tell the story of the fire. (Perhaps before entering the capsule roon, visitors must watch a 5-10 minute film about Apollo 1...so they can fully grasp what it is that they will be seeing.) Once visitors see that information and take it all in, they enter the room containing the capsule.

And then, upon leaving the room with the capsule, visitors would then see a display showing the positive effects the fire had on the program...how it resulted in a redesigned (and better) capsule and, ultimately, how it led to the successful moon landing missions.

In that respect you get the history of the fire before you see the capsule, then learn how the fire changed NASA. That way, the capsule is presented in a simple, yet effective manner...with no distractions going on around the capsule itself...but visitors leave the museum knowing the story about Apollo 1.

APG85
Member

Posts: 241
From:
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 10-23-2010 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it is definitely time to put this historic artifact on display and tell the story of these brave men and their sacrifice for our country and the Apollo program. We have a generation of young people that need to learn and not forget...

chenry
Member

Posts: 54
From: Zionsville, IN 46077
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-23-2010 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just want to say thank you once again to everyone that has, and continues to post here. We are still in early stages of this, but I must say that NASA has been great to work with. They have been nothing but polite, and understanding.

History in miniature, thank you so much for that post. That really means a lot to not just myself, but the rest the museum as well.

The plan is that the area where the CM would sit would be just the CM and a plaque or storyboard to tell the story. In the hall way leading to it is where the story boards and such telling more of Apollo I would be. We want the area of the CM to be uncluttered, simple, and powerful.

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 10-25-2010 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
cSer mjanovec has it right on how to display the capsule, very similar to the Star Spangled Banner now on view at the Smithsonian that I mentioned in my post. As I indicated, it's important to interpret the importance of Apollo 1 in the context of NASA and spaceflight history. And that's where moorogue and I differ: the 1812 flag, B-29 Enola Gay, and Apollo 1 are all HISTORICAL artifacts of mankind, not just a tricolored banner, warplane or burnt spacecraft.

An earlier post asked if relics/artifacts from the World Trade Center were vetted by survivors or victims' families. Yes, I'm sure they were-because they started appearing in exhibits a year after the attacks. I saw a temporary exhibit, also at the Smithsonian, that included the door from a crushed fire engine, among other things. And at the NY Police Museum, they have the personal effects of an officer killed on 9/11. Heartwrenching? Of course-but so were the emotions on that terrible day, which I witnessed from six miles away as the WTC towers collapsed.

Which brings me to another point: survivors, memories or eyewitnesses will not be around in 50 or even 100 years when museum exhibits are put up, so it's very important to preserve, research and interpret any object for FUTURE generations while the historical event is still fresh. Far from being just the result of a 'terrible accident', Apollo 1 should take its rightful place alongside other spacecraft like Friendship 7, Columbia, or any of the Shuttles-as a testament of man's reach for the stars, no matter how flawed or fragile it may turn out..

frap
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 10-25-2010 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for frap   Click Here to Email frap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 1 was not an act of terrorism or war, unless you count the coldwar. It was an accident that happened in the pursuit of the exploration of space. The larger tragedy, to me, was the cancellation of the Apollo program. The spacecraft needs to be displayed so those who are ignorant of Apollo can learn something about what happened.

jasonelam
Member

Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 10-26-2010 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
George Santayana said it best, "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

We have seen this happen many different times in history, from the Holocaust, 9/11, the many wars that have plagued History, the Tragedies of the Space Race, and so many more. We need the artifacts of these events to remind us that these events can never happen again. Museums that contain objects of our falterings are reminders of that the events in our past must be remembered so we do not repeat them.

When I was younger, I can remember going to the National Energy Museum in Oak Ridge, and in the main hall were life size mock ups of the Little Boy and Fat Man devices. Next to those were artifacts and pictures of the sheer power of the devices, then in a small room was a movie that showed very graphic scenes from both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was a reminder that we must never use these weapons again, and 65 years later we still have not.

I feel that the displaying of the Apollo 1 capsule is a necessity, a reminder of the lives that were lost in the exploration of space and a reminder of the failure to understand our past as seen 19 years later in the Challenger disaster. These are Historical artifcats, reminders of the times that we have stumbled. I agree with those who state we may not have ever gotten to the moon without Apollo 1. It is time that the capsule and the crew gets the respect that they deserve.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 10-26-2010 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In terms of how to display the capsule, you might consider the case of the Enola Gay, as mentioned a few times in earlier posts. The whole Smithsonian episode has been fairly well documented, particularly in professional musuem and historian circles. For those unfamiliar, the gist was that that the Smithsonian wanted to display the B-29 Enola Gay (or just the nose, depending what part of the episode you're discussing). Controversy erupted when certain groups, namely some American veterans, protested what they viewed as a "revisionist" anti-American slant to the interpetive portion of the exhibit. The controversy became so heated that the planned exhibit was canceled. Enola Gay finally went on display, in its entirity, at the Uvar-Hazy center with little more than a plaque (at the time I saw it there) giving just the facts. The lesson there was no context=no controversy. You can compare the display of "Bock's Car," the B-29 that dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki, at the National Museum of the US Air Force. It has been there for many years, along with mockups of the bomb it dropped, and a relatively benign display. No one protested it or the text because it, too, was pretty much just fact-based. Again, no context=no controversy. The problem is, I bet few people come away from visiting either airplane feeling truly moved or actually remember more than just having seen them.

The point I'm getting at is that one way to display a controversial artifact like this is to avoid the controversy and just stick with the basics. Visitors may learn a little about it, but will probably come away not much wiser for the experience. But what's the impact? What's been learned? On the other end, I think you can be a little too reverential in trying to create an emotional experience with the dramatic lighting, limited captioning, isolation, etc. Doing so runs the risk of relying more on the object as a spectacle, rather than a chance to educate. Keep in mind that the capsule isn't a monument or a memorial (or a tomb) in the strictest sense, but an object with some significant meaning. It will be the museum's job to tease out that meaning in a way that visitors will remember. Figure out how to tell the story using the artifact and more so that the lessons learned from it are in fact learned.

Sorry if this comes across as overly dramatic, but to me (and many of us here, I suspect), the Apollo 1 capsule is one of the most significant artifacts in the history of the American space program. It has a profound story about the space race, acceptance of risk, technical culture, organizational change, and the persistence - and eventual erosion - of lessons learned. Of course, a museum can't do this in the same way as a book or many books, but it has the power of the visual and tactile to tell what many words can't. I hope you guys have the chance to do so...and to do it justice.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-26-2010 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
The point I'm getting at is that one way to display a controversial artifact like this is to avoid the controversy and just stick with the basics.

The difference with the Enola Gay is that the controversy was surrounding the history that the artifact represented. I'm not aware of any significant remaining controversy surrounding the history of the Apollo 1 capsule (though I suspect a few people still hold on to their conspiracy theories). Any information displayed along with the capsule is unlikely to be as controversial as it would have been with the Enola Gay...as long as the information (photos, films, etc.) are tastefully done.

quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
On the other end, I think you can be a little too reverential in trying to create an emotional experience with the dramatic lighting, limited captioning, isolation, etc.

When I was thinking of dim lighting, I was actually thinking of the current display of the Apollo 14 command module at the Saturn V Center at KSC. The room containing the capsule (and other artifacts, like spacesuits), is dimly lit and isolated from the activity of the main hall containing the Saturn V. The dim lighting is likely used, in part, for preservation of the artifacts.

However the Apollo 1 capsule is displayed, we must keep in mind that it will be an artifact for some and an emotional memorial for others. One benefit of isolating the capsule in it's own room is to isolate visitors from the other sounds in the museum. Some people will want to study the capsule without distractions. Others may wish to quietly contemplate the events of January 27th. The display area should, ideally, accommodate both types of visitors.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 10-31-2010 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like that idea and would take it a step further. Have one room for Apollo 1 and a second room where the suits would be displayed (at least they would be preserved better than they are now) and headphones to let people listen to the audio of the fire if they wish.

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 10-31-2010 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
!!!!!!!??????


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Open Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement