Monday, June 18, 2007

Exhibit Profile: Saturn V Launch Gantry

Saturn V

Saturn V was made up of four separate sections - three parts engine and one part brain that controlled it.
  • Stage 1: Five huge F-1 engines took the rocket 42 miles above the Earth in 2.5 minutes consuming 3 tons of kerosene and liquid oxygen every second.
  • Stage 2: Five smaller J-2 engines, using liquid hydrogen, burned for 6 minutes to accelerate Saturn V to 15, 000 miles per hour and reach the upper atmosphere, 108 miles in altitude.
  • Stage 3: A single J-2 engine burning liquid hydrogen pushed the rocket into low Earth orbit, then fired again and accelerated the spacecraft out of Earth's orbit to the moon.
  • Instrument Unit: This unit housed the rocket's instrumentation and computers, pre-programmed flight commands, and steering unit.

Experience the lift-off of Saturn V for yourself, every 15 minutes the astronauts and mission control run through procedures and you can feel the rumble of the Saturn V leaving Earth.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Monday, June 4, 2007

Space: Dare to Dream Summer Launch

The Gail Borden Public Library Book Cart Drill Team kicked off the morning's proceedings.

Library Board President Joan Berna and Library Director Carole Medal cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening.

Even Galileo was present for the big event.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Liftoff for Elgin library's 'Space: Dare to Dream' exhibit

June 2, 2007
ELGIN -- It was hard to tell at times Friday night whether the rumbling heard inside Gail Borden Public Library came from the thunder outside or in.

While a thunderstorm raged outside, the thunder indoors came from a mock-up of a Saturn 5 rocket launch gantry -- a massive vertical frame used to service rockets -- set up in the library's rotunda.

The gantry shows a life-size portion of what a Saturn 5 -- the rockets used to launch men to the moon -- looks and feels like. The whole exhibit rumbles like a rocket about to ignite.

The rocket mock-up, along with a moon rock, telescopes and several other interactive exhibits, are part of the Elgin library's newest exhibit, "Space: Dare to Dream." Residents and library patrons paid to get a sneak peak at the exhibit Friday night. The exhibit officially opens today and will remain open to the public during normal library hours through Sept. 23, said communication director Denise Raleigh.

Funds raised from Friday's ticketed event go to help the Gail Borden Library Foundation purchase books, furniture and materials for the library branch facility, planned for Bowes and Randall roads. Construction is set to begin later this year.

In a short ceremony in the library's community rooms, the first of the $500,000 the foundation hopes to raise was given to library Director Carole Medal.

Not only did the foundation present its first $150,000 check to the library for the branch, but the board also received $10,000 from the Elgin Enrichment Series and $1,500 from the Elgin Noon Rotary Club.

The two smaller checks were presented by Sharon Jakle, president of the recently disbanded Elgin Enrichment Series and a Rotary member.

"As a thank you to our (noon) speakers, we will donate a book to the children's department of the new branch for every speaker for the next year," Jakle said.

The enrichment series, now in its 11th year, recently decided to disband, Jakle said. The board decided to donate its leftover funds to the branch facility.

Since the new library opened in 2003, said board member Rick McCarthy, the facility has become a pulse point for the community.

"The new library is a social center for Elgin," he said. The museum-quality space exhibit is an extension of that role.

"This is consistent with our educational role," McCarthy said.

The $150,000 exhibit is funded almost entirely by the Grand Victoria Foundation, which promises a large portion of its charitable funds each year to educational projects. The Grand Victoria Foundation was the major donor when the library had a dinosaur exhibit in 2005.

"None of this is possible without the leadership of Carole Medal and imagination of Denise Raleigh," said Toya Randall, the foundation's project director.

Recently, she said, after a conference in Elgin, one of the attendees asked the man at her hotel desk where in Elgin she could go to kill time.

The concierge suggested the library.

The woman, Randall said, told her later that the visitor bureau should talk to the hotel about where to send people looking to see Elgin's sites. So, Randall brought the woman to the library to show her what he was talking about.

"She said, 'Oh, I get it now," Randall said. "We are fully aware of the wealth this institution has brought us in the last few years."

The exhibit has landed

Borden library hopes space display will bridge generation gap

By Lenore T. Adkins
Posted Saturday, June 02, 2007

If you’re old enough to remember when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969, you know exactly what you were doing when it happened.

But those born after July 20, 1969, missed that emotional experience and have only read about it in history books or watched it on subsequent documentaries.

The challenge of the Gail Borden Library’s new exhibit “Space: Dare to Dream,” is to bring that emotional and awesome experience to the younger generation, said Denise Raleigh, the library’s spokeswoman.

“For us to experience it in real time, it’s a different memory,” said Raleigh, who was 12 in 1969 and has vivid memories of the moon landing. “That was a big deal. This was our country and this was a man walking on the moon.”

The library held a private opening of the exhibit Friday that doubled as a fundraiser for the library’s new west side branch — officials say about 200 people attended. The exhibit opens to the public today and is a follow-up to the wildly successful dinosaur exhibit that closed in December 2005.

And if Friday was any indication, the library is already well on its way to closing that generation gap.

Dean Schmeltz, 15, of Elgin, said his favorite part of the exhibit was the 3.9 billion-year-old moon rock on display.

His 11-year-old sister, Dinah, said she loved the part of the exhibit where you push a button to launch a rocket to the moon — if you push it at the wrong time, you’ll receive an error message.

She enjoyed the exhibit’s interactivity.

“You didn’t just read it, it was like, hands on,” she said.

Don Tuttle, an 86-year-old astronomy teacher at Elgin Community College, remembers he was glued to the television set when Armstrong declared “The Eagle has landed.”

“You’ll never forget it,” Tuttle said. “It’s something to realize that, hey, we’ve got a person on the moon.”

He said the exhibit impressed him with its accuracy and marveled at how small the windows were on Apollo 11, the rocket that landed on the moon. The windows, shaped like triangles, measured 10 inches across.

“It’s amazing that they were able to land looking through a window that big, it’s incredible,” Tuttle said.

Friday’s event raised more than $6,000 in ticket sales. In addition, The library’s foundation donated $150,000, the Elgin Enrichment Series gave $10,000 and the Rotary Club of Elgin Noon contributed $1,500.

All of the money will help buy materials, books and technological equipment for the library’s new branch on the city’s west side.

The library hopes to raise $500,000 toward those efforts.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Carole Medal and WRMN radio interview

Click here to listen to Library Director Carole Medal talk with WRMN radio about Space: Dare to Dream and other exciting summer programs and exhibits.