Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Obsessive. Compusive. Dismissive.

   Last summer, when the family went on our vacation "down south", we stopped by the small town of Wapakoneta, OH to visit the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. Naturally, as the family's resident obsessive space geek, I loved it. I saw the Gemini 8 capsule which was on display, as well as numerous items related to Neil Armstrong's life as well as mementos
from the flight of Apollo 11.
   I did, however, notice a mistake in one of the displays. They showed replicas of the two Westinghouse television cameras carried on Apollo 11. One was a color camera carried in the Command Module and the other was the smaller black and white camera that sent pictures from the lunar surface. The signs indicating which was which were reversed. I was going to mention this to someone at the museum, but when I noticed the only ones there were an elderly couple who looked happy to be serving their community by volunteering at the museum, I decided against it. I had the impression they were there for something to do rather than because of abiding love of spaceflight history. I'd have felt like I was harassing someone's great-grandmother for having an incorrect setting on their computer. Yes, I'm persnickety about my space facts, but why be a buzzkill? And so the Apollo 11 camera gaffe went uncorrected - at least on that day. Hell, it may STILL be wrong. In case it is, and for the sake of those few who A.) plan to visit the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum in the near future and B.) actually give a damn about this sort of thing, the camera on the left side of the display depicts the color camera and the camera on the right is a replica of the Lunar Module camera that landed on the moon.
   So now you know.

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