Category Archives: Space Education

Space Heritage

The editorial page letter below (Florida Today) affirms my view that there is much work to be done in the area of space site and artifact preservation. The fine effort to save the Apollo LUT, while both brave and bold, lacked adequate momentum and money to succeed.

Find ways to preserve more of space history

I applaud a recent letter wake-up call to save our Space Coast heritage before it is all gone with the wind. As the writer said, many launch sites are already dismantled.

Since then, a March 24 FLORIDA TODAY photo on page 1B showed the Apollo launch umbilical tower being disposed.

On the plus side, the letter also mentioned several facilities such as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center and the Space and Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that are actively preserving what they can. However, they need help.

Neither the Air Force nor NASA use taxpayer dollars expressly to preserve historical sites and facilities. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum Foundation Inc., a private nonprofit corporation, is authorized to raise money for the Museum. Perhaps their charter could be expanded to include the following launch complexes:

LC-13, the last remaining ICBM service gantry; LC-14, where Mercury Atlas astronauts flew into space; LC- 19, where Gemini-Titan missions were launched; and LC-34, where we lost three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire.

Anyone wishing to learn more should call the Air Force Space and Missile Museum at 853-9171.

M.J. Martin
Merritt Island ————

Apparently, at least one writer of school history books doesn’t think that space exploration was a notable event of the Cold War era. My 12 year-old son’s 6th-grade US history/civics text does not mention Sputnik/Explorer I or space exploration in the Cold War chapter. The Civil Rights movement of that era receives well-deserved ink in that book, but it is apparent that the author does not feel that James Webb, Alan Shepard, Wernher von Braun, or Neil Armstrong deserve as much mention as say, Rosa Parks. Shameful!

An End To High-Power Model Rocketry?

I don’t know, but the news isn’t good. Tripoli just lost its suit against ATFE, and the agency will be allowed to classify ammonium perchlorate compound propellant as an explosive, which will be a significant damper on the hobby, since hobbyists will now have to get a federal Low Explosives Users Permit (LEUP).

This kind of bureaucratic stupidity is the reason that I’m not thrilled with the Bush administration, but there’s no reason to think that a Kerry administration would be any better.

The only way this can be fixed now is with legislation, but that’s unlikely to happen in an election year.

[Thanks to emailer Bruce Brazaitis for the heads up.]

Lunar Resources

Time to use some of your frequent flyer miles:

Free Public Lecture By Dr. Harrison Scmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut, geologist

Topic: Lunar Resources (e.g. Helium-3)

Location: UAB Alys Stevens Center at 8:00 PM on April 1, 2004

Harrison Schmitt Bio

The Alys Stephens Center is located on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which is in the Southside area of Birmingham, Alabama. The street address is:
1200 10th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1280

The ASC is easily accessible from two major thoroughfares.

I-65 Northbound
Exit onto 8th Avenue South (University Boulevard). Turn right on 13th Street, then right again on 10th Avenue South. The Alys Stephens Center will be on your right.

I-65 Southbound
Exit onto 4th Avenue South. Turn right on 13th Street, continue to 10th Avenue South and turn right. The Alys Stephens Center will be on your right.

Highway 280 (Red Mountain Expressway)
Exit onto 8th Avenue South (University Boulevard) and turn right. Travel to 13th Street South and turn left. Turn right on 10th Avenue South, and the Alys Stephens Center will be on your right.

Off street parking is located directly across the street from the ASC. Street parking is also available. There is an upper and lower circular driveway that can be used to drop off disabled patrons. Allow extra time for parking during weekday performances.

– Jim McDade