The scientific tourist #30 — Apollo 18

This week’s picture is an oldy-but-goody from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas:

Saturn V nose

Since Sunday the 20th was the 39th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon, I thought an Apollo theme would be appropriate for today’s image. This is a scan of an old slide, taken circa 1990 — and shows one of only three Saturn V rockets to have survived the end of the Apollo program. Of those three, this is the only one made entirely of parts that were built to fly — primarily for the cancelled Apollo 18 mission.

Since this picture was taken way back when, the rocket was still outdoors (the slightly-off-vertical bars are window frames in the tour bus shuttling us around campus). But weather and time and wildlife took their toll on the old bird — so it took construction of a huge shelter, combined with a multi-year restoration effort, to get the rocket back to some semblance of its original appearance. Some day I hope to make a return trip to see it in its refurbished state.

This entry was posted in History, Sci / Tech Tourism, Space and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.