Last weekend Ash and I accepted an invitation to go up to Alameda (across the bay from San Francisco) and take a group tour of the USS Hornet. The Hornet is an aircraft carrier, now used as a museum, with a long history including the retrieval of Apollo 11 and 12 capsules from the ocean. It was fascinating! It's amazing how aircraft can take off and land on a ship.
The Bay Bridge (uniting Oakland with San Francisco) and the San Francisco skyline:Our wonderful story-telling tour guide, explaining how the planes take off!
The flight deck:They can get 90 airplanes on this one deck! The planes' wings fold back, making more room.
In the control tower area where they steer the vessel is the captain's chair:
And the view from the area where they steer the ship:
In the hangar, below the flight deck we saw lots of helicopters and airplanes from previous missions, as well as the signal flags on display. The first helicopter with the white flower on it's nose is from Vietnam missions:
The Hornet was used to retrieve the Apollo 11 and 12 space capsules from the ocean. This is a test capsule they retrieved:
We also saw the "de-contamination trailer" that the Apollo 11 astronauts had to stay in for the first 21 days after returning to earth from the moon, in case they had "moon germs" on them!
We climbed up and down a lot of very steep steps and semi-ladders with chains as rails throughout the day:
How would you like to be operated on in this operating room:Bunks and metal lockers -- the mattresses look awfully thin, but I bet after a hard day they were a most welcome sight! They were three bunks high, hanging from chains, and rows of them filled a large room.
Very interesting day!