Tuesday, November 02, 2010

US Space Pavilion, New York World's Fair 1964

Hello World's Fair fans! Today's theme is NASA and the "US Space Park" over in the Transporation Area. Like many boys (and who knows, maybe some girls too) I was fascinated by the US space program, and had books and models showing the various rockets and test planes that were being developed to go ever higher and faster.

Here's a neat display comparing the progression of US rockets. From right to left, you've got the Scout, the Thor Delta, the Advanced Thor Agena, the Atlas Mercury, the Atlas Agena B, the Atlas Centaur, the Titan III, Titan IIIC, Saturn I, Saturn IB, and finally, the mighty Saturn V! To this day the Saturn V is still the largest, and most powerful launch vehicle ever used. As of 1964, the first launch of a Saturn V was 3 years away. Eventually, of course, it was the rocket that launched us to the moon.

This display shows a full-scaled replica of an X-15 research aircraft, "... which set a world's speed record in excess of 4000 miles per hour, and an altitude record of 354,000 feet." Oh, is that all?

And finally, here's a full-sized replica of an Titan II Mercury-Atlas launch vehicle; "...This is the first time the famed man-carrying Mercury spacecraft (in which Astronauts Glenn, Carpenter, Schirra, and Cooper separately made successful Earth-orbital flights) has ever been mated atop the Atlas launch vehicle outside Cape Kennedy".


The Viewliner Limited said...

Absolutely Awesome!

JG said...

That's the stuff, the Right Stuff!

I think I had plastic models of all those rockets.

My Dad used to let me miss the school bus on the days that the Gemini launched. He would take me to school later in the truck so we could watch it together.

The Space Program seemed to last forever when I was a kid. On a recent trip to Edwards AFB, I toured their museums full of stuffed airplanes and saw how blindingly fast those things evolved. Unbelievable at today's pace of hardware development.

One of the perspectives of age, I guess.

Thanks for these beautiful pictures. (straightens helmet)


Matterhorn1959 said...

Nice views, especially of the rocket evolution.

Anonymous said...

after the fair the rockets were left to rot,until they were in horrible condition and on the verge of falling over. they were taken down and restored about 4 or 5 years ago, and they look great! when we go to the Met's games at Citi Field,you can see them next door at the old fairgrounds,standing tall and looking great.now if only something could be done for the New York State pavilion!

Katella Gate said...

JG: My folks also let me stay home for maned rocket launchings. I saw them all launched from Gemini to the end of the Apollo project.

I rarely got to stay out the whole day either, usually up to orbital insertion. Then Walter C would go off the air, I'd catch a round of Concentration, and off to school.

I still haven't seen one launch in person yet. I'm in Chattanooga, so maybe I will catch one of the last Space Shuttles before the final fight scheduled by President 0, and America is officially out of the Space Business.

E.Rose Fox said...

Maybe girls too?

You bet there were girls who followed and thrilled to the space race-myself included.

I collected photos, news clippings, gas station give aways, and had my mom get me up early for every launch televised.

...and visiting the space related structures at the NYWF is one of my fondest memories. I was there, as a just turned five year old, in 65.

pixiegirltink said...

Here are some great images of the pavilions in ruins ~ http://modern-ruins.com/fair/index.html

Great blog post as always!

Major Pepperidge said...

I was kidding when I said "maybe some girls...", I was quite sure that at least some girls found it interesting too! E.Rose Fox, do you still have all the stuff you collected?

Wow, I WISH my mom and dad had pulled me from school to watch the launches. Weird thing is: I loved the space program, and yet somehow I don't know where I was when I learned that Apollo 11 had safely landed. Unlike everyone I know.

To see a real launch, live and in person, would be awesome!

JG, I was jealous of one kid in class who had a model of a Saturn V that was as tall as he was.

Anonymous, I had heard about the terrible condition of the remains of the Space Pavilion, but am glad to know that it has been restored.

pixiegirltink, thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

I knew you were joking, Major. I just wanted to assure you: we were out there! : )

I do have some of the collectibles of my childhood. Some of what was "lost" as a child: I try to re collect as an adult.

I remember, very well, the first moon landing. I remember much of the Gemini and the Apollo missions.

I remember thinking that we, as a country, could do anything. Each launch seemed to verify that feeling.

...and the fair, although paned by critics, seemed to fit into that philosophy. It a reach into the future, as well as, confirmation of the amazing now.

I very much enjoy your blog, and thank you for it.


Nancy said...

oh yes, me too. i remember always watching the launches and the splashdowns, and i fondly remember the day Apollo 11 landed on the mooon.

we were all at home, my cousins and aunt were over. my mom always had a big puzzle going on the dining room table, and we would all pitch in doing it over the course of each week till the next Sunday dinner. we had Walter on and snacks and and pop, worked on the puzzle till the big moment. i still remember how excited we all were about the landing. really makes me smile to remember that day.

these pics remind me of the rocket garden at NASA in Cape Canaveral. been there a few times, looking forward to seeing it a few more times. the Saturn V rocket is the best!!

thanks for an awesome post! :D