Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Thursday, August 7, 2014

NASA, Day 2 - Tues., Aug. 5

Jogging was on Bob's agenda this morning. He was up early to try to beat the heat. It had poured rain overnight flooding low-lying areas. Even so, it was hot and humid for his run. He did about five miles.

On our way to Space Center, we drove out to Fort San Jacinto Historic Point. Not much to see of the fort, but it's an awesome view of Galveston Bay and the ship channel to Houston.
Fort San Jacinto is summed up in this sign.
Awesome view of big ships and the ferry in Galveston Bay
Also on our drive through Galveston Bob stopped so I could take photos of places we had only seen in the late evening.

When we walked past Texas Heroes Monument on our Volksmarch it was too dark to photograph. This memorial to the Heroes of the Texas Revolution is made of marble and granite. The female form of Victory holds a laurel wreath.

Texas Heroes Monument
 "Open Gates" (next three photos) was home to the Sealy family. Locals at the time called it The Big House. For the full story, read this article, "No One Who Truly Knows the Mansion Would Ever Call It The Open Gates," by Bill Cherry. As an aside, Magnolia Sealy was responsible for the proliferation of oleanders throughout Galveston. Galveston is also know as the Oleander City. The home is now owned by University of Texas Medical Center and designated to be used as a conference center for the university.

"Open Gates" (ironic because I found the
gates closed and locked)
Beautiful columns and pinkish Belgian brick
with hand-cut Texas limestone.
Old Gates architectural style is neo-Renaissance.
Another stunning architectural beauty is the Moody Mansion which was built of limestone and brick between 1893 and 1895 in the eclectic tradition of the late 19th century. The design mixed Richardsonian Romanesque with the Beaux Arts as adapted for the Texas Gulf Coast with deep porches, cross ventilation and thick walls.

Moody Manson
Moody Mansion
Welcome to Galveston
Estuary with oil refineries in background
Oh, I forgot to mention that Bob's cousin, whom he hadn't seen in 20 years, requested him as a Facebook friend. It just so happens she lives about 20 minutes from the Space Center. When she found out we were going to be at the Space Center, she invited us for dinner at her house in Seabrook. After our Space Center exploration today, we will head over to see her.

Our goal today at Space Center Houston is to see the movies we missed yesterday and finish looking at the museum. We accomplished most of what we wanted.

Lunar module cockpit trainer
Our tour guide yesterday talked to us about mining helium-3 (He3) from the moon. He3 would be used in thermonuclear fusion reactors. He3 is plentiful on the moon but sparse on earth. Read about it in the photo below. The world is years away from this technology; no one has figured out how to make a fusion reactor.

The mock up of Skylab was interesting.

Bob heading into Skylab - America's first Space Station
Zero gravity meal above,
zero gravity shower below.
Notice the triangular metal soles on the astronaut's shoes below. If you enlarge the photo below you will see the metal walls have triangles in them. When an astronaut wanted to work in one area, they would clamp the triangles on their shoes into the triangles on the wall to hold them in place in zero gravity.

Weightless maneuverings in space. Notice the
handrails in all different positions on the wall?
Hangin' with the astronauts.
Demonstration of how astronauts sleep.
After we finished viewing movies, live demonstration and the museum, we were ready to call it a day. After a short drive to Seabrook we reconnected with Bob's cousin and her kids. It was fun to spend time reminiscing. Bob also learned more family history. When we take our trip to Wisconsin and Michigan we will know family locations to look for. Thank you Linda, Mary, James and Robert for your hospitality and good conversations.

Mary, Robert, Linda, James and Bob
Tired and happy, we headed back to Galveston.

Travel Bug out.

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