Sunday, December 23, 2007

Air and Space Museum

We arrived just in time to watch this Southwest plane buzz the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park on its way to land at Lindbergh Field in downtown San Diego.
This is a fake. (The museum calls it a working reproduction.)
Much of the museum is devoted to the early days of flight and war planes from WWI and WWII. The displays are somewhat cluttered and haphazard, and have an outdated feel . . .
It borders on being creepy at times.
There's a huge display tracking the history of the now-defunct Pacific Southwest Airlines, which was based in San Diego.
These mannequins are modeling some of the uniforms worn by PSA stewardesses over the airline's four decades of service.

Strangely, there's barely a mention in the display about the PSA jet that crashed into my neighborhood of North Park on Sept. 25, 1978, after colliding in the air with a Cessna, killing 144 people. At the time, the crash was the worst airline disaster in U.S. history, and it remains the deadliest plane crash in California.

The entire event gets only a brief mention in a single paragraph of text buried in the middle of one of several narrative panels.
Rex and I would have been happier with more space exhibits. Here, Rex stands next to the capsule that returned the Apollo 9 crew back to Earth following a 10-day orbiting mission in 1969.

A rock from the moon.
This is an actual global positioning satellite.
Who knew so many astronauts hailed from San Diego? The most famous one has to be Sally Ride, who became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.

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