Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 13 - Tucson, AZ - PIMA and Kitt Peak

View from Kitt Peak

This is the 2.1 meter of many telescopes on the peak.

We spent a wondeful morning at PIMA Air Museum learning a lot of history and viewing an excellent military aircraft collection. We were occasionally treated to the a pair of A-10 War Hogs and British Tornado fighters doing maneuvers overhead. At 7000 ft elevation, Kitt Peak was about 20 degrees cooler than Tucson. Since the grounds closed at 4:00pm, we didn't get to see as much as we had hoped, but what we did see was educational and the landscape views were fantastic.

Glad the weather cooperated for the views. Too bad the clouds kept the domes shut that night.

Family outside the dome housing the 2.1 meter telescope.

Conner, the presidential history buff, stands near the presidential seal on the plane utilized by Kennedy and Johnson.

Conner stands near a historically significant plane. This plane transported home, upon their release, the Americans held hostage in Iran.

Aiden is like his big brother, Conner, in that he wants to be a pilot.

My little astronaut.

The PIMA museum has a large amount of historical displays, including this one devoted to Gen. Doolittle of Pearl Harbor fame.

The family stands next to a B25. Doolittle architected the Pearl Harbor reactionary plan to get B25 bombers to launch from an aircraft carrier for a bombing run on Japan.

Conner being Conner.

Flag from D-Day. Sign says it was the first flag on Utah Beach on D-Day.

Conner wasn't thrilled about the hike to the 2.1 meter telescope after reading this sign.

The Embassy Suites hotel provides a scenic view of the mountains. We really liked staying here while in Tucson.

Kitt Peak

Conner really wants to be a pilot. He brought up the fact that flying lessons can start in the teenage years.

Aliens were recently discovered on the moon.

Kitt Peak

MiG 29: what an awesome aircraft. Very fast, can hit some seriously high altitude, and very agile. Bet Russia would like to get this one back.

A slice of the moon brought back by lunar astronauts. Sure would like to add that to my meteorite collection. The guy watching over this said it is worth about $10 million, mostly because of shipping & handling.

British Tornado jet coming in for a landing. Tour guide explained that the Brits like to practice maneuvers in Tucson and come out every year.

This solar scope extends deep into the ground to create a 500 ft light path for the solar light.

The Vomit Comet: NASA's weightlessness plane for training astronauts. It would fly in a roller coaster pattern to create the weightless feel.

We love Swensons sticky chewy chocolate. This is one of the things we miss about our hometown of Springfield, MO. Wish we had these in the Dallas area.

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