International Space Hall of Fame

On my way to the 1995 IPMS National Convention, I stopped at the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Actually, the ISHoF is just a part of the Space Center. Also included in the complex is the Clyde Tombaugh Planetarium and Omnimax (the world's smallest Omni theater!), The Hubbard Space Science Education Building (a Challenger Learning Center) and the John P. Stapp Air and Space Park.

I have visited here several times, each time there has been at least one new exhibit to see. Unfortunately, this time, they were in the middle of changing the fourth floor into a new exhibit, so I didn't get to see anything new... Anyway, I visited this time just to check out which rockets were on display. As of July 5, 1995, the rockets on display were:


  • Lance missile
  • Aerobee 150
  • F-1 engine
  • Nike-Ajax with launcher
  • J-2 engine
  • Sonic Wind No. 1 rocket sled (Stapp's sled)
  • V-2 engine
  • Little Joe II

  • Inside:

  • Aerobee 170 tail unit
  • Arcas
  • Aerobee 150 upper stage
  • Falcon missile
  • Nike-Cajun
  • Arcas cutaway
  • LM ascent engine
  • Aerotech K-900 motor
  • Javelin 4th stage motor
  • Syncom apogee kick motor
  • XLR-11 engine
  • Hawk missile
  • Loki Dart
  • RL-10 engine cutaway

  • Rocket garden and ISHoF

    From left to right: Little Joe II, J-2 engine, ISHoF, Lance Missile and Aerobee 150. The rockets aren't really bent and leaning over: that's the result of my using a 28mm lens to get it all in.

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    Sonic Wind No. 1

    Here's Colonel John Stapp's rocket sled on which he subjected himself to a bunch of positive, then negative g's. The tests were conducted at nearby Holloman Air Force Base.

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    Lance missile and Aerobee 150

    I believe the Lance was an Army artillery rocket, while the Aerobee 150 was a sounding rocket, but don't quote me on that (all my reference books are packed away).

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    Little Joe II and ISHoF

    This Little Joe II isn't an accurate representation of any of the test rounds fired at nearby White Sands. But it does give an idea of the overall size and shape of the vehicle. The Hall o'Fame is in the background, reflecting the escarpment of the Sacramento Mountains.

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    Nike Ajax

    This missile looks poised to protect the Tularosa valley from all invaders. White Sands can be seen at the base of the mountains across the valley.

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    V-2 engine

    Here's a somewhat crushed example of the engine that launched the Space Age.

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    F-1 engine

    There were five of these monsters on the first stage of the Saturn V moon rocket, each generating 1.5 million pounds of thrust, burning kerosene with liquid oxygen.

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    J-2 engine

    On December 21, 1968, the single J-2 engine in the third stage of the Saturn V rocket ignited, sending humans to the moon for the first time aboard Apollo 8.

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    Aerobee 150 sustainer and Nike-Cajun

    Sounding rockets, nothing but sounding rockets.

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    Model rockets

    The rockets in this case are (left to right):
  • Estes Alpha
  • Rock-a-chute replica
  • Estes and Aerotech motors
  • Estes Titan IIIE
  • Estes All-American Alpha: this rocket was flown in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It was first flown by Art Nestor on July 4, 1991. The final flight was by Vern Estes on November 5, 1992.
  • You can see a pink outline in the picture above the All-American Alpha. That outline shows the All-American Alpha flying next to a Hermes missile on display at White Sands Launch Complex 33. (You can also see my reflection in the glass... a sort of geeky self-portrait.)

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    [Scale models page]

    [Model rockets page]

    Sven Knudson,