Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alan's Third Post

"McGregor's railroad access lead to an army ordinance plant being built during WWII. The rows of bunkers for storing bombs and/or ammunition still remain 70 years later:

After the war was over, the ammunition plant was shuttered in favor of manufacturing of appliances, rocket motors, and other miscellaneous industries. Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) moved in a few years ago to take advantage of the defunct rocket testing facilities and the site is now a full fledged rocket development facility for the company. The tests occur nearly every day and multiple times on many days, and everything in the town shakes when the engines start... many people thought that the apocalypse was happening during the first test of a fully configured Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The company now regularly alerts townsfolk of extremely larger launches! :D

If you look in the left side of the pano, you will see a VTOL Falcon 9 rocket, the grasshopper. In the middle is a large metal building where rockets can be assembled for testing. Next to the central water tower is the large tripod-shaped vertical test stand. I've been on top of it in a private tour a few years ago and the view is impressive; it is about 100-150 feet tall at the top of the concrete, 250 feet tall at the very peak. Several other testing facilities and control bunkers are clustered around the test towers. This is about as close as I wanted to get for picture taking as the facility is on a large swath of private property that the public is not supposed to enter... I figure walking around at the end of the day might have aroused suspicion anyway so it's for the best.

I made effective use of a GND filter for all of the pano shots, two things that I rarely do. The GND+UV+Nikki's older coatings did make for this nice rainbow flare while shooting the sunset though:

As the sun faded away (and the flares decreased) I was thankful that a plant that was once used to make tools for war and destruction is now being used in more productive ways. I hope that the sun will eventually set on man's quest for conquest, domination, and destruction.

I'm not much on beer, but finding an empty Heineken beer bottle beside the road made me think that if peace comes and I am still around... well I'll drink a beer to that:"

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