There are plenty of space-related exhibits and vehicles available in the Dayton region for exploring the history of aerospace.
Here are five of them.
The Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer is a highly accurate simulator utilized by NASA astronauts for practicing orbital tasks, training for emergency escapes and studying engineering issues.
The top level of the trainer is the flight deck where the mission commander and pilot would sit. The mid-deck contains the living and working areas with a galley, sleep stations, storage lockers and a bathroom. The exhibit also allows visitors to walk through the payload bay of the Space Shuttle where a real satellite is on display.
The Air Force supported much of Project Mercury by providing Atlas rockets, launch crews, facilities, physiological expertise, and other services to launch the orbital flights. Mercury was the first American human spaceflight program and flew successfully six times between 1961 and 1963.
The Mercury capsule on display was built to fly, but was used instead for spare parts. The size of the Mercury capsule, which was designed to carry one astronaut, is strikingly small compared to the Atlas rocket that launched it.
The giant Titan IVB Rocket was the largest and most powerful rocket in the U.S. Air Force which was used to launch satellites into orbit. Standing at 205-feet tall, the Titan on display was placed horizontally in the Museum’s Fourth Building horizontally allowing it to fit. Visitors can walk under the display to appreciate the size this giant space vehicle.
Wapakoneta, the hometown of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, has a museum dedicated to the man and his aviation and space career. Planes, capsules, space suits and a lunar sample are a few of the main attractions.
Gemini VIII Capsule
The Gemini VIII mission conducted the first docking of two spacecraft in orbit. Neil Armstrong was command pilot along with David Scott as pilot. It was the first spaceflight for both men and almost ended in tragedy when they encountered a critical in-flight emergency from a stuck thruster, causing the capsule to tumble.
The mission was aborted at this point and the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles south of Japan.
Apollo Capsule Replica
The Apollo capsules carried three astronauts to lunar orbit where two of them would then transfer to the lunar module for a descent to the moon. After lunar exploration the ascent section of the lunar module would rocket away from the lunar surface to rendezvous with the orbiting Apollo Capsule for the trip back to earth.
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