Saturday, November 17, 2012

Houston? Nah, Florida

I was going to post some more pictures from the Houston quilt show, but actually I'm not in the mood. So here are some pictures from Florida instead. However, to keep my quilting fans happy lets start with some quilting. Some really really famous quilting.

I hope at least some of you guessed what the quilting in question might be on, given my background and the location :) All these panels are quilted. We got to see some samples in the VAB which showed the stitching much better but you can see it fairly well here. As you can see she isn't the easiest thing to get a picture of, you just can't get back far enough, but Tet did his best.

For me this has to be the ultimate patchwork quilt. It's a serious working quilt, although the colour scheme isn't the most imaginative I've seen.

We were very lucky to see Atlantis. There was just one week where they were allowing sneak peeks before she is built into a 'proper' display. Personally I would much rather see her grubby and on very functional stands. It suits who and what she is. I hope they don't tart her up too much.

 This is one of the launch pads used for shuttle launches. The gravel tracks you can see leading up to it are the roadway used by the crawler that carries the platform and whatever is being launched to the platform. I do mean both tracks are one road. the crawler has huge tracks and straddles the grass between the gravel.

We got even luckier on our visit. There is a platform on the pad and a crawler under it. Our guide said the crawler had just had a complete refurbishment and new engines so we were guessing it had come out here as a test run. Whatever the reason, I've always had a soft spot for the crawlers so it was great to see one.
From this angle you can see the fire trench and the massive water tower which dumps water at the base of a shuttle launch just before the engines fire. The water is there to damp (literally) the sound waves which would otherwise damage the orbiter. It's a neat and very clever solution to a potentially huge problem.

Lastly, for tonight at least, the rocket garden. Maybe if I have wifi on the train tomorrow I will try and post some more quilts :)

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