Apollo Command Space Module (CSM) 009
Unmanned Apollo test flights were identified by double zeros before their numeric designations. The objectives of the test flights were to evaluate the spacecraft’s communication and electronic subsystems, heat shield, and mission support facilities. On February 26, 1966 a Saturn 1B launch vehicle carrying Apollo CSM-009 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Following a seven minute burn, the second stage instrument unit separated from the spacecraft. The Command Module reached a maximum altitude of 310 miles over the Atlantic Ocean before beginning descent. It is on loan courtesy of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and restoration was completed courtesy of Duncan Aviation and Dale Jensen of Lincoln, Nebraska.
A boilerplate is a nonfunctioning version of a spacecraft. It is used in place of the spacecraft to test various configurations and basic size, load, and handling characteristics. They are far less expensive to build, and can be used for testing while final details are being prepared for the actual craft. The Apollo boilerplate sat atop a Saturn I rocket in the testing phases.
Atlantis Shuttle Trainer
The Atlantis shuttle trainer is a mock-up of the OV-104 cockpit, used in training astronauts on the 600+ switches located inside. Atlantis is one of two shuttles that Nebraska astronaut Clayton Anderson flew aboard.
Project Vela Satellite
The VELA Satellite program began during the 1950s and was designed to monitor compliance with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, as well as to provide scientific data on natural sources of space radiation. The various elements were capable of monitoring underground, atmospheric, and exoatmospheric nuclear tests. The last of the advanced VELA satellites was removed from service in 1984.
X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV)
The X-38 CRV was a technology demonstration vehicle project of the Johnson Space Center and Dryden Flight Research Center. The X-38 was a prototype for a new crew return vehicle, based on earlier 1960s “lifting-body” designs that would serve as an emergency crew return vehicle for the International Space Station.