January 27th, 2012

My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

Had a note from K~ today. The contents were simple: I love you. I miss you. I'm sorry.

She remembered that today was the anniversary of the tragedy which was Apollo 1. This year, Apollo 1 has a special meaning to me. Not merely because I've been to Kennedy Space Center -- so very close to where they spent their last moments -- but because of the realization that tomorrow, I will be exactly as old as Roger Chaffee was when the capsule fire of Apollo 1 killed him. He would have been the youngest person in space.

I caught her on facebook and thanked her. It was touching that regardless of all else that has happened that she'd remember something so important to me.

Some might say too little, too late. And, in a way, maybe it should be. But I've always been a sucker for hope.

I owe you all a longer explanation, but for right now, I'll cut it short and simply say that we've reconciled. In a few short days, she'll be back up here and we'll give things another shot again. No other girl would have remembered that and she's genuinely working on getting a job. I think that we have an actual shot at this.

And maybe this time, things will go right.
My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

The Saturn IB rocket. The second stage of that rocket was the S-IVB and was used as the third stage for the Saturn V rockets which would go to the moon.


A walkway to a mock up of an Apollo capsule:


The interior:


The space mirror memorial at Kennedy Space Center:


A plaque opposite the mirror:


You sort of have to put that out of your mind. There's always a possibility that you can have a catastrophic failure, of course; this can happen on any flight; it can happen on the last one as well as the first one. So, you just plan as best you can to take care of all these eventualities, and you get a well-trained crew and you go fly.

— Gus Grissom

This would have been the first flight of the Block I Apollo Command Module. Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee were scheduled for 14 days in orbit to test launch, ground tracking, and control facilities.

The crew members were using the time to run through their checklist again, when a voltage transient was recorded at 6:30:54 (23:30:54 GMT). Ten seconds later (at 6:31:04), after Chaffee said the word "Hey", scuffling sounds followed for three seconds before Grissom reported a fire that began that minute. Chaffee then reported, "We've got a fire in the cockpit," while White responded to Chaffee's comment. After 12 seconds,[17] Chaffee urged the crew to get out of the command module.[17][18] Some witnesses said they saw White on the television monitors, reaching for the inner hatch release handle as flames in the cabin spread from left to right and licked the window. The final voice transmission from the crew was very garbled. "They’re fighting a bad fire—let’s get out. Open ‘er up" or, "We’ve got a bad fire—let’s get out. We’re burning up" or, "I’m reporting a bad fire. I’m getting out." Only 17 seconds after the first indication by crew of any fire, the transmission ended abruptly at 6:31:21 with a cry of pain and then a hiss as the cabin ruptured after rapidly expanding gases from the fire over-pressurized the CM to 29 psi (200 kPa) and burst the cabin interior.


(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_1#Fire)