The scientific tourist #60 — Shepard's ride

This weeks’ image comes from the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, at the Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. It’s a replica of the MR-7 spacecraft and launch vehicle that made Alan Shepard the U.S.’ first man in space back in 1961:

Mercury Redstone & Blockhouse

I’ve been told that some years back, the original launch support gear (gantry, etc.) was also on display here — but it had to be torn down since it was coming apart due to corrosion from the salt sea air (and occasional hurricane). That low-slung building on the right is the blockhouse used to control the launch (you can see how it got its name). It’s still amazing just how close the blockhouse is to the launch pad, but of course, this was long before the day of closed-circuit TV gear.

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