Did you know that the City of Downey had been until 1998 the hub of the American Avionics, and then that of the aeronautics, including the Space Shuttle Program? Are you curios to find out (now that dust starts Settling on the last of the Space Shuttles– Atlantis) what happened to the real estate where it all happened? Well now it is a …Mall, yes a shopping center, and a NASA Museum, and Downey Studios. No no more aeronautics in Downey, NASA can look for those cardboard boxes, to get their personal belongings (quite popular for the last decade throughout the land). This never felt right to me, since I believe that the strength of any nation is in what it creates, not in what, and how much it consumes. I may be wrong though, it is harder and harder to make sense of many things: for instance I never understood what a service society ment for the longest, and still can’t wrap my way of thinking around it. May be because…I’m not a bush, a plant. The bush never spoke to me, not in a intelligible language.
So here are few photos I took of the place called Downey Landings, a modest and sincerely felt apology to the avionics community, here and elsewhere, who may miss Rockwell International and the contracts that allowed for the Avionics and Space Programs to become reality.
It’s so hard to build, but so easy to tear down. (Should this be the ending line of this story, I think it will be meaningful one)
As for the photos taken: I found about the insignia (or or as I like to call them symbolically “Headstones”- you know like in a hi-tech cemetery – by chance, because they sure are not standing either out, nor up, they are well hidden in plain view, but not that visible as to disrupt the shopping spree, at this useless outlets, present in every city, since they have nothing to do with avionics, or space exploration, or nothing of the kind: you can buy stuff for your next party, from Party city and dog food from PetsSmart, they have specials for beach torches, office supplies, and few fast, food restaurants: But nothing too fancy, you see…As far as the marvel of architecture, representing the sidewalk (which really cannot qualify for a sidewalk due to the construction and width of 3 feet) if you want to get a headache, or dizzy, that’s the place to be (that would be because one cannot walk streight on the winding sidewalk) I wonder who filled they pockets charging for the design, execution and expensive overhead labor for this one? Nobody in the City Hall could give an aswer…Tough times, you see.
The following “Headstones” are not in any order, just as you find them by walking by the stores
This picture is an introduction to the ” In Memoriam” Project dedicated to the 90 years of uninterrupted avionics presence in Downey, California:03-Downey_Landing_Site_of_American_Avionics
Next there is the “Insignia” of some of the first half of the 20th century avionics companies:
Apollo XIII (1970):
Apollo 14 (1971):
Appollo 15 (1971):
- Why America’s middle class is lost
- US forfeits technological prowess (rt.com)
- Space shuttle Enterprise (framework.latimes.com)
- Today in History: Last Space Shuttle Landing (jenkins5th.wordpress.com)
- Final Space Shuttle Crew Leaves Plaque on Atlantis (space.com)