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  JFK Library: Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 capsule

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Author Topic:   JFK Library: Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 capsule
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-20-2012 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Naval Academy release
Last Chance to see NASA Space Capsule "Freedom 7" at the Naval Academy

NASA spacecraft, "Freedom 7," will be leaving the Naval Academy at the end of February, bound for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Columbia Point, Boston, Mass.


Credit: heroicrelics.com/Mike Jetzer

The space capsule first arrived at the Naval Academy on Dec. 15, 1998. Since then, it has been on display to the public in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is open 9-4 p.m., January through February; and 9-5 p.m., March through December.

Mercury-Redstone 3 was the first manned space mission of the United States. Astronaut Rear Adm. Alan Shepard, a Naval Academy graduate of the Class of 1945, piloted a 15-minute Project Mercury suborbital flight of the Freedom 7 spacecraft on May 5, 1961, to become the first American in space.

The Naval Academy has produced 52 astronauts — more than any other college or university in the nation.

ejectr
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posted 01-20-2012 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well that's the best news I've heard in a long time for Massachusetts. I always wanted to see Freedom 7. Looks like now I'll have my chance.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2012 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Freedom 7 Mercury capsule leaving Naval Academy for JFK Library, Smithsonian

The capsule that launched the first American into space more than 50 years ago will soon be moved from Maryland to Massachusetts, before ultimately landing in Washington, DC in 2016.

MarylandSpace
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posted 01-26-2012 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Freedom 7 used to be located near the exit of the "Apollo to the Moon" gallery at the National Air and Space Museum near the Saturn V engine.

I enjoyed seeing it many, many times. I hope many of our New England space fans get to see it and imagine Alan Shepard's flight.

arjuna
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posted 01-26-2012 01:58 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the first I've heard that the National Air and Space Museum is going to redesign the hall devoted to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. That's great, but does anyone know how much longer the current gallery will be open before they close it for the redesign/new installation?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2012 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by arjuna:
This is the first I've heard...
That's because we're the first to report it. No other details are available yet, but you can be sure they will shared on collectSPACE when released.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-02-2012 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
America's first manned spacecraft lands at JFK Library in Boston

Freedom 7, NASA's first spacecraft to launch an astronaut into space, has landed in Boston for display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The space capsule, which on May 5, 1961 lifted off with astronaut Alan Shepard for a 15 minute sub-orbital mission, arrived at the JFK Library on Aug. 29. On loan from the Smithsonian, Freedom 7 had previously been on exhibit for 14 years at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

"Freedom 7 has arrived!" the library announced on its Facebook page. "Thanks to a generous loan from the [National] Air and Space Museum, Freedom 7 will be here until December 2015."

onesmallstep
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posted 09-02-2012 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With that white protective covering on its aft end, that Mercury spacecraft looks a little like a Gemini capsule before launch.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-10-2012 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kansas Cosmosphere release
Cosmosphere's Space Works Completes Project for John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston

Space Works, the division of the Cosmosphere specializing in artifact restoration, preservation and exhibit design - has just completed fabrication and installation of a display cradle for the Mercury-Redstone "Freedom 7" capsule, which goes on display Sept. 12 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Freedom 7 launched the first American into space on May 5, 1961, with astronaut Alan Shepard as commander.

"The project was referred to us by the Smithsonian, which underscores the tremendous working relationship we have with its curators," said Jim Remar, President and COO of the Cosmosphere.

"Freedom 7 had previously been displayed in an acrylic case that wasn't conducive to its long-term preservation," Remar said. "The Smithsonian has confidence that anything produced by Space Works will meet absolute museum specifications and ensure the long-term preservation of iconic artifacts."

Space Works designed a new cradle that not only showcases the capsule in optimum fashion but allows it to be transported, when necessary, between exhibits.

Space Works' Manager Dale Capps oversaw the installation of the new cradle in late August when the spacecraft was moved from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis to its new home at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Measuring 6-feet- by 4-feet, the cradle alone weighs 750 pounds to support the capsule's 3000-pound weight.

Although its flight lasted only 15 minutes, Freedom 7 proved that America could successfully launch a man into space and return safely to Earth. The mission encouraged President Kennedy to launch the Apollo Moon Program a few weeks later.

"It is largely due to Freedom 7 that President Kennedy issued his famous challenge that the United States be the first nation to put a man on the Moon," Remar said. "It seems fitting that the Freedom 7 be on display at his presidential library," Remar said.

After its three-year exhibit in Boston, Freedom 7 will go to the Smithsonian for display in its collection.

The Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere houses the largest collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts anywhere outside the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and Moscow. The Cosmosphere's Space Works division has developed an international reputation for historic artifact preservation, replication and exhibit design. Space Works has completed numerous projects for NASA, the Smithsonian, and a variety of Hollywood films, including Ron Howard's Apollo 13 and his HBO Miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-12-2012 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The JFK Library and Presidential Museum opened their Freedom 7 exhibit today:
On September 12, 1962, JFK pledged to put a man on the moon. Fifty years later, we put a space capsule in our museum!

On the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's memorable speech at Rice University, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum unveiled a special new installation featuring Freedom 7, the iconic space capsule that Commander Alan B Shepard, Jr. piloted on the first American manned flight into space. Come visit and see it for yourself!

WAWalsh
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posted 09-13-2012 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat. Hope to convince the family to see it in October

GACspaceguy
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posted 09-13-2012 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very well done.

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-18-2012 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For a book I am currently researching (yet to be formally contracted) on the flight of Freedom 7, I am seeking a nice, clear photo of the spacecraft in its new temporary display case at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston. I have seen a couple of official photos, but I would love to include a photo taken by a collectSPACE enthusiast with accreditation.

You can post the photo(s) here (in low resolution only) or you can contact me direct at my regular email address (check the icon above this message).

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-04-2013 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As my new book on Alan Shepard's flight aboard Freedom 7 has now been officially contracted, I'd just tike to repeat my request for any collectSPACE member's photo/s of the spacecraft in its new temporary home in Boston. I've not received any replies as yet to my earlier request, so this is your chance to have a photographic input into my new book.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who has been to the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and has photographed the exhibit.

PeterO
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posted 01-04-2013 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will be in Boston next Thursday, so I'll plan to include a visit to the Library, weather permitting. I'm no photo whiz, but I have a DSLR that should be able to take a decent picture, if I don't mess it up.

I visited Liberty Bell 7 when it was displayed at the Boston Museum of Science following its restoration, so I don't want to miss Freedom 7.

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-05-2013 04:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks Peter. I look forward to seeing your photographs if the trip works out.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-05-2013 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a spacesuit display happening in Lowell, MA. and Freedom 7 in Boston. Things are happening in Mass again.

Lou Chinal
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posted 01-05-2013 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Colin, I also plan to make a special trip.

PeterO
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posted 01-05-2013 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Larry McGlynn:
There is a spacesuit display happening in Lowell, MA. and Freedom 7 in Boston. Things are happening in Mass again.
Do you have a link or other information about the spacesuit display in Lowell?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-05-2013 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
American Textile History Museum: Suited for Space Exhibition (as listed on our Space History Events calendar).

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-05-2013 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to you as well, Lou.

PeterO
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posted 01-08-2013 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the link, Robert.

Regarding Freedom 7, I've contacted the JFK Library to ask about their photo policies, and received this response:

You can take photographs however you cannot use any flash or tripod.
The way the exhibit is set up, that will make it extremely difficult to get a good overall photo. No flash and no tripod is a bad combination. Add a polarizing filter to remove the glare from the glass, and that just exacerbates the problem.

mikej
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posted 01-08-2013 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PeterO:
No flash and no tripod is a bad combination.
You might ask them for a clarification: The National Air and Space Museum did, at one time, prohibit tripods but allow monopods (they have since changed their policy to disallow monopods as well).

While not ideal, a monopod is better than nothing.

insomniaceve
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posted 01-09-2013 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for insomniaceve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the post OP. I now have an excuse to visit the JFK Library Museum again.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-09-2013 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I went to the Suited for Space exhibit at the American Textile Museum. Dan Barry was speaking. He was very good. The exhibit was a disappointment.

ColinBurgess
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posted 03-17-2013 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As it's been nearly three months since I first posed the question, I was wondering if anyone has been to see Freedom 7 in its new home and taken any photos that I might be able to use in my next book? I'd rather use one from a collectSPACE reader than the standard museum shot. Any help greatly appreciated.

mercsim
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posted 03-18-2013 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have found museums to be quite flexible and friendly with special requests. It's important the request be practical, legitimate, and respectful of the rules and policies of the museum. Just because they say no flash or tripods doesn't mean they won't let you do it. These rules are often for safety and so there are not flashes popping all over the place affecting other guest experiences.

I usually contact a curator with the request. You have a book under contract from a well known author. You would like access for the purpose of photographing an important historical artifact. Suggest arriving a 1/2 hour before regular opening so you can get your photographs without interfering with other guests. This also ensures you are supervised at all times. Be sure to put the spin on it "for other guests" not for selfish reasons like "I don't want them in my way." Sometimes I get a response that they can't afford the overtime for a docent to escort the photographer. Offer to take someone to a nice breakfast or lunch if they will volunteer the extra time.

If you ask nicely with a well thought out plan and wording, they are usually happy to share their artifact. Also be sure to offer them any credit they like.

Hope this helps or sparks some other good ideas to get your work done.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-15-2013 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The JFK Presidential Library and Museum suffered a fire Monday (April 15), the cause of which is not yet clear.

According to a statement, "[the fire] appears to have started in the mechanical room of [the] new wing of the building. All staff and visitors are accounted for and safe."

Boston Police commissioner Edward Davis said that they were not yet certain if the fire at the JFK Library and the bombs set off at the Boston Marathon were related, but they "are treating them as if they are."

The library staff wrote on Twitter that any tie to marathon explosions is at this time "pure speculation."

It is not yet clear the extent of the damage, or if Freedom 7 was in the fire's path.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-16-2013 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Smithsonian has confirmed that Freedom 7 was not damaged in the fire at JFK Library.

ringo67
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posted 04-18-2013 03:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was at the JFK Library on Monday when the fire broke out. The blaze started small, but got rather large and smokey. I think the high winds by the water and perhaps some flammable liquids, like oil or hydraulic fluid, looks to have fed the flames.

JFK Fire 2

I can also say that there was no explosion. I was in the "At the Brink" exhibit on the Cuban missile crisis when the fire alarm sounded. I walked out to the large, glassed-in pavilion, where staff came by and everyone there was told - calmly, but firmly - to leave the building now.

I think it's accepted now that it was a mechanical fire and not related to the Boston Marathon bombing. What a surreal day. I was trying to report to the newspaper I work for about the fire when they told me about the bombing in Copley Square. Our newspaper covers the Boston Marathon pretty extensively, but fortunately all of our reporters were uninjured.

I'm also glad to hear that Freedom 7 is safe, but I'm not too surprised. The spacecraft is pretty far away from the fire and on a lower floor.

According to its website, the library will remain closed until further notice. I hope any damage didn't affect the exhibits. I love this place.

PeterO
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posted 04-18-2013 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the first-hand report! There have been a lot of confusing and contradictory reports, so you've cleared up a lot. I'm still planning on visiting Freedom 7 sometime soon.

ringo67
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posted 04-24-2013 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JFK Library has issued a statement about the April 15 fire:
Boston Fire Department officials have concluded their investigation of the April 15, 2013 fire at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and have determined that it was "unintentional." According to the Boston Fire Department, the most likely cause was "careless disposal of smoking material."

The JFK Library will remain closed until further notice while Library officials conduct a full test of the Library’s fire and security systems.

We are grateful to the Boston Fire and Police Departments for their quick and effective response to the fire on Monday, and their thorough investigation following the event.

ringo67
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posted 04-30-2013 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a quick post to let everybody know the JFK Library is open again.

Now I've got to get back there to take some photos of Freedom 7 with my new polarizing filter.

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