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Adam Savage Visits National Air and Space Museum's Restoration Hangar!

Adam Savage Visits National Air and Space Museum's Restoration Hangar!
The only thing I find more inspiring than a great

museum

like the Smithsonian is getting to witness behind the scenes at a great

museum

like the Smithsonian. And that is where we are right now. I'm standing at the overlook and behind me what you can see is the Mary Baker Engen

Restoration

Hangar

, where the Smithsonian repairs restores and prepares for display all of its amazing artifacts. And there are some amazing artifacts to view down here but the particular area that we are
adam savage visits national air and space museum s restoration hangar
concerned with today is way over in that corner where I can see from here a command module which i think is from Skylab and all the other collected

space

stuff. We're gonna get a close-up view of all of that. All right, Lisa. This is your domain, right? This is the conservation world of our

restoration

hangar

so and I will you give me a walkthrough of what you guys have on your desk I'd love to okay on our desk yeah we're down here cuz everything's a little bit bigger than
we usually work on so this wonderful piece that Jackie's working on is a lamb cockpit simulators so they would have used this to train in Grumman actually that's all original equipment some instrumentation buttons pieces bits and bobs they built this frame and actually had it in their in their environment before it was donated to us so in the new display which is going to be super cool these windows where you would have trained to look at you know yeah coming in with the LEM and
everything we're gonna have movies put in there of the original footage so we are not replacing any parts we're just sort of cleaning up what's here looking at the different materials there are some sections which have suffered over time yeah which we're going to replace as a with a replica piece but then we'll save the originals and storage now when you when you're conserving code and conserving this how are you deciding what to clean and what to leave dirty a little
easier because it was on display for 45 years does have a lot of

museum

dust okay I'm and we know it wasn't in

space

but if there's where to any of the materials like this is sort of one of my favorite parts as these disky keyboards you can kind of see the fingerprint still in yeah in there so Jackie's just used her knowledge and conservation science to decide what kind of treatment she can do wet or dry surface cleaning how that would interact with the materials we have and then
what's best to keep things in place so this like yellow to plastic for instance over paper we're not going to do anything to that so you'll see a lot of discoloration and we're still the velcro it's all original we have things stuck here and there these beta cloth bags which are amazing you know NASA labeled everything yes so it's like really cool because you know we'll put foam supports in there and and try to put them out but yeah um when does this go out when does
this leave you so all of these stuff in the conservation annex right now is scheduled for the 2022 opening of destination which is the permanent Apollo gallery we'll have and Neil Armstrong

space

suit and the command module will be the centerpiece of the new gallery together for the first time and then we'll have all these other pieces and they're representing Apollo that's awesome but uh if you don't mind could I take some pictures of this from that yes this this I recently
got a beautiful disky replica that's functional Oh so you can actually program with it and this strikes me as a really good replica I might want to tackle yeah we have pictures too so Oh fabulous like high-res oh nice so over here on the table we have the passive passive seismic equipment that actually we have a picture of Buzz Aldrin carrying that famous picture of the - yeah wonky experiments on to the moon and this is one of the test models we've had this on display for a while so one
of our bigger conservation challenges you'll see on all the objects down here is like all rehearing what people think is tinfoil so they used all these sort of materials to keep radiation off you know for thermal exchange for heat dissipation and we're left now trying to really get it to lie back down the way it was to show the crinkles in it this gold where they have gold sort of embedded in the mylar sand aluminized pieces are the captain is what NASA refers to as captain okay and
you'll have copper ions in there or anything else I'm embedded in that they used it for tapes all over it's actually inside the

space

suits that's how they taped all the layers together it is mylar yeah I did not realize yeah and that's where it pulls because you can't get it to move anymore so when they were wearing them and those aluminized Mylar layers pulled there we are seeing some disintegration but later on I LC tells me that they actually learned to crinkle it so
it had more play Wow so they came up with a crinkling method to make it work better so you can see that here so all of these are very unique materials for conservators and we're not used to so we have to use our conservation science David who's working on this as traditionally works on trophies and other pieces he works in calling a Williamsburg for a long time we're lucky he's here but like now he's having too

space

stuff so it's always a learning experience for all of
us together yeah this I'm trying to do not like geek or freak out about seeing the lunar rover sit and write I I know I can't sit in it you know that I want to sit in it but I know I know that I can't I've except I knew you watch it so this is one of the test models that they used in New Mexico prior to training for the lunar rover flights in Apollo everything on it's practically authentic we have the cameras and things off now because we're conserving them upstairs even
has a spare tire yes so this is about to go undergo a 3d scanning project Oh which is super cool and so we pulled the other tire that's also going on display out so we could compare some things because we didn't want to take these off okay the tires are really funny because they're spring-loaded and they're on some weird axle system that no one quite understands or has access to the manuals for so they're going to scan all the different interview pieces so they didn't try
adam savage visits national air and space museum s restoration hangar
what goes on inside there yeah they didn't write exactly how you would ride in a cart mm-hmm it's like hydraulically driven and then we're still trying to figure out sort of all these pieces but this is sort of a great engineering feat that they came up with and then you know as soon as we ask people there's no answer really why it worked that way so and it doesn't have like a you know straight axle they all operate on four different mechanisms oh so that each one is
individually controllable right and so it's pretty cool that is really cool and these wheels I'm right they wouldn't support the car on earth oh no right these are very tiny and we actually learned that this is actually piano wire oh is it because the screen is ya know where yeah it's a zinc coated piano wire so it's very light we never would display this right now it's on a chipping crate and we're using it for we're gonna build a stand for it for the new display
but we would never let them rest on yes because they were made for one-sixth gravity right and and this apparently just popped out of the LEM so it folds up and crushes up into a little square I've seen pictures of the stuff one and it blows my mom I'm still trying to figure out how that happened it's pretty cool yeah just coming around we were told these were original lawn chairs that they used in design to to work on the lunar rover or to make it work and they're sort of pieces
like that all over just like the model you pointed out it's like you know what worked at the time right what do we have that's gonna work up there and so it's gorgeous I love the antenna 2ds yeah that's um that's really amazing and there was a previous repair in here and Lauren has actually stitched it back and like tried to repair it we didn't replace any of this netting and then she stitched up some other tears I had gotten in it overtime just because it's so
fragile all the materials because they didn't have to be heavy-duty up there right right one-sixth gravity you had a lot more latitude yeah I can't believe that how delicate this mechanism all is very cool I was trying to figure out why this was so big but of course this is a seat belt for someone wearing a

space

suit right so it's this writing pad and a seven I'll be was even bigger than the earlier suits yeah and the backpack right so there's this weird

space

and we were
like what right support system for the place yes yes back here is the tool carrier that came off the back of this Oh what you might like it is super fun it's like an imaginary backpack for tools and it's really beautiful like I've seen good we've seen nothing like this and you know again all labeled every little intricate part wrapping so NASA did not have like the little you know beautiful labelers that we can go buy at any stationery store now so I was totally do these I was
told and I could be wrong well the fabric ones were type type Don right yes so you know that yes

space

suits and things and I knew the

space

suit labels are rubber stamps the name the name tags yes yes they did rubber stamp on there and you use the typewriter but an honor is not what they would have done with that it would have probably been a graphic somehow oh yeah I guess I'd say it's they're all stuck on hmm so I don't know if it was like like a stencil at the time where they
you know how they can get rid of like the part around where it's good like they scratch through or mm-hmm but they are like metal foil yeah taped on adhered on pieces oh this is great dust brush interim stone so we're gonna re install some of the tools you are display yeah that was part of our deal and we have it off there because we're cleaning it separate but yeah see they would stick it down here and it would say I mean this is just this and this is the orientation person it was
this upright it would just been attached to the back of the making some of the moon tools is something I've all eventually will get to I was actually taking pictures of your brush out there I mean anything because that's a I love the specificity of all the little shovels and brushes and grippers and grabbers so this is the lunar orbiter which map the lunar surface to find the landing site and Rachel had some conservation issues on here which were unique to us but not unique overall with

space

materials because our velcro is actually showing a lot of signs of aging in here and prior to that I had never seen really the velcro causing a problem right so Rachel had to come up with a technique to actually consolidate the fuzzy part of the velcro back down because it was shedding its nylon but it was as a fire retardant in it because all the

space

velcro was made separately and we correspond with the with those companies a lot you know we work with industry just like you do so we
were curious about things but the real issue came when she wants to reattach all the blankets that cover this so there's blankets I would have been on this in

space

so the velcro actually has a utility right yeah we can't attach to it anymore right so she came up with a system to attach a an inner sort of piece that's gonna have magnets on it and then we're gonna embed magnets in the blanket and sort of get everything attached together looking like it's attached the velcro
but the velcro in her opinion and then watching her work this is not going to support anymore attachment so and what you mean by that is that if you did try and attach it you'd be yanking loops out I'm just making ruining it more amazing it works and it could pull off right but it's mostly this fuzzy part that's just shutting so she's done a chemical treatment on this actually and so you don't see the shutting right now right and it will be sort of horizontal in
adam savage visits national air and space museum s restoration hangar
the gallery with its solar arrays out right now it's on a stand and she we have to raise it up and finish the treatment and so the corona camera would have like been the right direction and all and it's gonna be hanging near the ceiling so we debated sort of doing a bunch of things because no one will really see it up there right then for us we knew if we wanted to remove the blankets to monitor it or to get a piece or even treat it again we didn't want things yeah so the whole goal
is always just to stop what's happening right just slow it down yeah never quite achieving stopping by it slowing down definitely slowing down those aging processes just like I saw when this mapped the surface did it have a camera is there a camera on board was it I would have yeah okay yeah okay Wow well I recognize this is a command module yes one of uh one of them and it's Skylab which is a little different cuz I'm used to working on Apollo yeah so this was the last one as I
understand it that they use for the program okay before they transitioned so Skylab for same configuration as the Apollo ones but more refined because I got their techniques down the the earlier ones especially Apollo 11 the heat shield is just really bulky and overproduced and a lot of stuff happened on the surfaces because they weren't sure what was gonna happen during right so now they've really refined the process this one did undergo some testing when it came back by NASA but yeah
there's a lot of cool features on the on the command module that people always have questions about and you guys are getting this ready for display yes so this is gonna go out on loan to another

museum

are there am I looking at places where bolts were right so all of these equipment bays would have held the environmental equipment the fuel all of their stuff that they could have accessed through EBA mhm so they had these bolts originally they would have had little covers that actually were
made out of a cork material yeah which one we and they're still on the Apollo 11 and we could not believe that they used cork but what was a cellulose with polyethylene beads in it when we analyzed the material and they would plug them up and so the astronauts could pop those out easily with a tool and then the ball would keep the equipment intact but obviously the bolt hole covers have been removed from this and will you put them back in for now okay so have some features going on here
which people asked me about so these are the pitch and yaw right yep nozzles which you'll see all over this is a an Espeon antenna oh there's four of them on the heat shield some got more burned than others it's actually like a silicate glass material which is quite fun yeah and then this is just the ablative heat shield right but the interesting thing about here and this shows a lot of good things that I learned and the other one so all of these little marks are pre flight repairs
so after they cured filled each of these little holes by hand 370,000 holes with cocking guns these women filled every single one of these little

space

s they put the heat shields together these little honeycomb yes and the pictures are amazing the archival pictures of them doing this just they just sit around you know all day long filled it up formed it and then put it in a curing oven for a few days pulled it out and then they did radiology on it and they could not have any kind of air

space

or
air pocket or any blip in their system so they would drill out oh so each of these are pre white I find NASA on the first command modulator worked I thought they had done all this when it came back and all even these square pieces I mean they're just amazing little features these are all repairs to get rid of any voice with it and they took wow so much time doing this oh that's crazy aren't they fun and so all these pieces were made from like original heat shield and they would just
drill them back in and put them in yeah so I often get a lot of questions about the the little circles all over they said you that's crazy just and so they were able to cross-reference the x-rays that they were doing or the yep and I marked everything fill it up free cured it and then started their coding system which involves several poor fillers epoxy boosts cover which you can see here this white and just you know that's how they form the entire heat shield so both pieces are made out
of the same stuff this is just a thicker thicker more ablative material that would have been meant to a blade off whereas the the central heat shield was meant to stay to protect the inside cone so when you say they were caulking everything what they're doing also this part and so when do we do the Orion people came because they're building the heat shield for that and they were wondering if they should go back to the same system they tried a tiling system using the same materials so
they could go faster and that's when they had all those problems in the early testing is because they started shearing off the tiles so they may have to go back to not individual filling but the same type of application I love them single pencil marks right here yeah is that roll B Rock B yet yep so these are NASA markings I'll have to watch when we're cleaning it I mean never know where you're gonna find them so these interesting things phenomenal so this is the urine waste dump
oh this specifically yes and it's covered in gold my favorite everybody wants to know what the two eyeballs are when I tell them they're like oh my god so they had these amazing so they had a tube from this the astronauts waste dump right which was manually triggered they have a tiny little heater right behind this in the side the system which heated up the liquid because they didn't want it to freeze on contact reason that's all right yeah yep when they waste and it's also
the wastewater dump a urine warmer and wasn't is there copper underneath is that way I see a little bit of green here there was there's like a copper frame and then this is pure gold on top to keep it from actually freezing on contact now what's the reason that it's was made so far proud of the I think that's really like the heating mechanism is not quite sure we have some pictures and technical documents on this but no one really seemed to focus on it and any of the
post-flight like anything so when you're doing your research it's hard because you know I have these like really intimate questions and they're like you know you're scanning through 500 pages of NASA like don't even mention it I'm like why not so this is one of our favorite features that's amazing on there I'm curious about the silver here so that's Kapton tape is okay and they use that to keep more radiation off of it more thermal properties so that would
have been underneath what you see on this boost cover so this is actually a good picture of sort of the process of how they did the heat shield which is interesting to me because it's I don't know if they were testing right here I need to look at it a little more but like you wouldn't have had all these different surfaces it would have just been one surface covered monolithic tape on you know the NASA didn't peel that off they peeled it off the other one so that's what they
are brown oh it's when it came back how come my I guess I I'm just curious why I see so many more void repairs here than up here but now I'm looking at I'm sorry this is also thicker okay yeah and you'll see them if this yeah when I clean it actually I'll remember to send you a picture it looks amazingly different when I use my cleaning technique to clean all this I mean you'll start to see a lot of stuff pop out that's so oh yeah you can kind of see I'm here
yeah yeah are they drilled out like little worms - it must have been just weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks of oh my I can't imagine and this is some silver epoxy paint that they used to seal some of them we we analyzed that because we couldn't figure out why some of them had this sort of no when you analyze that do you send it to like a mass spectrometer we have XRF here what's that um x-ray fluorescence oh it's portable so I just shoot my gun at things it looks like the Star
Trek phaser no you know like somebody who invented it the portable one in the conservation field came up with this tool yeah I have not sent any samples out I've done everything in-house okay oh wow we have FTIR upstairs too which is Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy also portable because we have big stuff so we buy all portable equipment right it's hard for us to take samples off things and feel good about that I'd imagine so we often know that there could probably do a
little bit more analysis I'm still working on analyzing the interior paint coatings of the command modules because we had some flaking right and they added a fire retardant to it so it's it's basically a paint with no binder it's all glass balloons rods if you look at under the microscope it's a completely glass with a quartz pigment which makes it look green and so it's not staying on the walls as much now we're not having a huge problem but we're trying
to anticipate so we've done some research on that outside of house does this one have a like the full instrument panel I'm waiting next week I get to start doing my documentation so is it sometimes hard you chomp at the bit to get to get started to get your hands on I'm kind of excited because you know we've been working on Spade seat for a while now and I kind of want to do a big like a big cleaning you know kind of get in there but yeah every one everything tells a different
story so I always get you know excited to start a new project I imagine