Archive for July 26th, 2009

Splashdown 2009

Mike by The USS Hornet

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Today Mike and I spent an enjoyable and educational afternoon on board the USS Hornet, which has been converted into a museum. The Aircraft Carrier USS HORNET Museum is a national treasure, having participated in two of the greatest events of the 20th century — World War II and the Apollo 11 manned space mission.

Now peacefully moored at historic Alameda Point on San Francisco Bay, the USS HORNET is a timeless memorial to those who defended our American values and to those who have pursued America’s technological advancements. In 1969, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet recovered the first two NASA missions that landed men on the moon – Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. The ship is the largest surviving artifact from these incredible events, which are among the most important in the history of humankind. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, the featured speaker was former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 11 and the 2nd man to walk on the moon. The USS Hornet served as a premier platform for the release of Buzz Aldrin’s newest book: “Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon.” The book is a memoir about his triumphs in space and the hard times back on Earth.

Following his public speech at about 1:15PM, Buzz had an autograph session where he signed copies of his new book for the first time in the SF Bay Area. Mike had purchased two books, one for him and one for Jeremy. As we waited in line, we learned that all 1,050 of Buzz’s books had sold out by 1:15PM. There were about 2,000 people at this memorable event, and we were privileged to briefly see Buzz as he signed our books. Due to the large number of people waiting to have their books signed, he was not able to shake hands or write anything personal in our books other than his name. But he did look at us and said “Thank you”. That was probably the highlight of our time there.

There were many other exhibits and activities for kids and adults alike, including a flight simulator, model Mars rovers, actual moon rocks, the mobile quarantine facility used for the Apollo 14 crew, and many more. You can click on the title under the above picture to be directed to my flickr website and view more pictures. It was truly an enjoyable and informative day for us.

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