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Old 10-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #31
ADVKmac
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Once again, DeBandi, you never fail to deliver. Your historical explorations would make a great series of coffee table picture books.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:03 PM   #32
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:48 PM   #33
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While DeBandi prepares the remainder of the report, here are a few pics and interesting items from the ride.

Pocahontas VA has some unique history of it's own, known to be the birthplace of VA coal. The Pocahontas coal seam was known to be the best coal in the world, exclusively used by the US Navy at one time. The town of Pocahontas was not the normal coal town though. The building architecture resembled great metropolitan cities like New Orleans and Chicago. Complete with an Opra House, great church belltowers, brick paved streets, etc.

Assorted pics around Pocahontas:








Actual casket maker !








The old company store has now collapsed, look towards the street end.



Pocahontas was also the the site of the worlds first exhibition coal mine. The mine tour was closed for the season, so a few pics had to suffice.










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Old 10-30-2008, 06:05 AM   #34
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I've been to Coalwood a few times. I missed the October Sky festival this year. I can't believe that they tore down the company store. I know that all of the buildings are in disrepair, but I thought that someone was trying to preserve as much as they could. Oh well... I did get to meet Homer and a couple of Rocket Boys too year befoe last.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:24 PM   #35
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Wernher von Braun

It's hard to believe the effect that Sputnik had, but it did change the world forever.








And Wernher von Braun was one of the most important rocket developers and champions of space exploration during the period.








Dr. Wernher von Braun explains the Saturn Launch System to President John F. Kennedy. NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans is to the left of von Braun.

Wernher von Braun was the father of German rocket science. He invented the V-2 rockets, the missiles the Nazis launched toward England in the final months of World War II. At the end of the war, von Braun surrendered to the United States. He and his German rocket team settled initially at Ft. Bliss, Texas, later moving to Huntsville, Alabama, at what became the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. In 1957, von Braun’s team worked with JPL to launch the first U.S. satellite. The Army team supplied the rocket, while JPL built the rocket’s upper stages and satellite. Explorer 1 was launched on Jan. 31, 1958.


























Let's go see where he worked.


























This is gonna be a problem, fellas.





I'm not sure I can talk my way through this.
















































No Problem.

I'm in.


More on Marshall Space Flight Center to follow...
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DeBandi screwed with this post 11-02-2008 at 04:26 PM
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:46 PM   #36
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Here is a few more pictures from the ride!

I just got set up to share.

Better late than never!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Two navigators at work!



The School in Coalwood. I can't believe it is still standing!






Company houses.






DeBandi leaving town after collecting all his pictures for this RR.



Cape Coalwood.


Parked at Cape Coalwood.


Saying goodbye after a great weekend of exploring and riding!


I just want to thank DeBandi and Don for an unforgetable experience. It was a ride of a lifetime!!! I feel honored to get to tag along and reap the benifits of their numerous hours of work and research for a ride like this. Thanks again!!!

MO Boot
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:52 PM   #37
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YOUR IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Did you just use your usual charm or what?

Mo Boot
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:15 PM   #38
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MO Boot,

Glad to see you have everything set-up to post pics !




DeBandi,

Can't wait to see the ending !


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Old 11-02-2008, 04:31 PM   #39
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Great stuff! Thanks guys.

Just to show how so much of this history is woven into the fabric of us Southern folks lives, one of the guys in my neigborhood in Macon, GA way back then, was a cousin of Werner von Braun and had even had him visit at his house.

He himself wasn't rocket scientist material by a long shot - but he did have a Honda Super 90 when everyone else was on a Super 50

This has been a great report
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #40
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Marshall Space Flight Center

This Alabama location is the nerve center for Army Missilery and NASA Rocketry in America.

This is kinda like sacred ground to me.






This is the incredible F-1 rocket engine that took us to the moon.




In 1960, Wernher von Braun became the director of Marshall Space Flight Center here in Huntsville where he and his team would develop the Saturn rockets that launched astronauts to the moon in 1969.


NASA described the Marshall Center as "the only self-contained organization in the nation which was capable of conducting the development of a space vehicle from the conception of the idea, through production of hardware, testing and launching operations."



This is the Historic Redstone Test Stand where the rockets were
tested for the Mercury-Redstone vehicle that boosted America’s first astronaut, Alan B. Shepard, on a suborbital flight in 1961.
















In the wake of Shepard’s successful flight, President Kennedy presented the nation with an even greater challenge. He committed the United States to "achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth". The Marshall Center’s role in meeting that challenge was absolutely vital. The Center was assigned the task of building the Saturn V rocket that would launch the astronauts on their way to the moon. You can see the test stands in the background.











I keep seeing these signs all over the place.












This Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand was used in 1966–67 for ground vibration testing of the Saturn V launch vehicle and the Apollo spacecraft.



Completion of this program was the final step prior to the launch of Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission. In 1972–73 the stand was used for tests involving the Skylab Space Station, and in 1978–79 for ground vibration testing of the complete Space Shuttle vehicle.




This shows some fantastic rocket history from left to right



Hermes, V2, Saturn I, Mercury Redstone, Jupiter C






I can see why Homer fell in love with rockets.






It is amazing what a child can do with a dream and desire.





As we say good-bye to the shuttle program,



the scientist at Marshall Space Flight Center are busy with the new Ares V platform and America's next-generation space fleet for the Constellation Program.











Thank you Homer Hickam for inspiring so many of us.





Thanks for Exploring Alabama with me.
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DeBandi screwed with this post 11-03-2008 at 06:29 PM
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:27 PM   #41
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Great ending to the report !

Thanks for inviting me to share the trip, and I look forward to many more adventures !
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:46 PM   #42
dirty-diesel
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Another fantastic report, as with all your reports I feel as if I was riding along with you.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #43
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Better ending than I could have expected Dave!


Those are some pictures of a lifetime. You never cease to amaze me!

Thanks again for letting me tag along!

Mo Boot
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:23 PM   #44
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Fantastic stuff! Thanks for diggin into it and reporting!

Just for those who may travel to these types of installations that aren't familiar with the rules - When a sign says Deadly Force Is Authorized, they ain't joking. I served 2 years in a liaison position at Patrick AFB here on the Space Coast. More than one student found out the hard way that you can be jogging one moment and face down with AR-15s behind your ears the next if you don't pay attention. And we're talking military members as students.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:10 PM   #45
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pretty damn good report

Debandi,
Great report!!!!! Full of information, history, and travel. Thanks for taking the time to do the research and most importantly, for taking us with you. Pretty damn good R.R.

Monte
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