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Monday, October 25, 2010

James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

I took this shot within the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center just before I was informed by security of the "no tripod" stance at the Smithsonian. I asked one of the tour guides the day before this photo if we were indeed allowed to have tripods, and I was informed while that was the policy, as long as I visited on a weekday with a small tripod and paid extra attention so I did not hamper the experience of any of the other guests, they wouldn't say anything to me. The security guards apparently sometimes enforce the no tripods rule and sometimes they do not, I believe it is based purely on the amount of visitors and being courteous (I think the security guard that told me no tripods was just having a bad day, as there were about 50 other people total in the center while I was taking photos). The information below is from the write-up in the picture itself, but I think it captures the highlights of the Hangar.

The Steven S. McDonnell Space Hangar the the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, near Dulles International Airport. The Hangar is home to more than 500 artifacts, including the Space Shuttle Enterprise, Mars Rover, the model from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as the following items:

- the manned maneuvering unit used for the first-ever untethered spacewalk
- a film return capsule from the last Corona satellite spy mission over the U.S.S.R.
- the flotation collar and bags used for the Apollo 11 splashdown
- a Gemini paraglider research vehicle used to train for potential ground landings
- Pegasus, the first aircraft-launched rocket booster to carry satellites into space
- a form-fitting centrifuge seat made exclusively for Mercury astronaut John Glenn
- a full-scale engineering prototype of the Mars Pathfinder Lander
- a human-sized, NASA-built android used for 1960s spacesuit testing
- the Spartan 201 satellite, deployed for solar research during five shuttle missions
- "Anita," a spider carried on Skylab for web formation experiments
- advanced spacesuit prototypes
- research crystals formed in orbit
- space-themed toys from the 1950s and 1960s
- borscht in tubes, prepared for Soviet cosmonauts

You can read more about the hangar and items on display at:

James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

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