Friday, October 11, 2013

Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

We weren't sure where the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum was so we asked one of the workers at the fiesta and found out that it was on the fiesta grounds, however, it was quite a hike. The field itself is enormous and the museum was across a huge parking lot and up a hill from all the rest of the action. Luckily, golf carts were used to transport people around to different bus locations and the museum. So, we hopped on a golf cart and they dropped us off right at the front door.

The museum is quite impressive. It showcases a vast collection of balloons, art work, and aerial artifacts. We learned a lot about the use of balloons in the military dating back to the Civil War. We were both surprised to learn of the strategic use of balloons in combat during both of the World Wars.

There were also displays documenting man's pursuit of new records for balloon flight. The equipment used in the first flight across the Pacific Ocean and the first round-the-world flight is showcased and explained. Also, early space explorations involved the use of balloons, astronauts setting records for heights achieved - the highest being over 113,000 feet! These feats are obviously achieved only with pressurized gondolas and very large and durable balloons.

This museum is a fascinating place to visit and the view of the balloon fiesta field out the glass wall is spectacular. We can only imagine that window filled with balloons lifting off from the field.

After visiting the museum, we headed back home for a short rest before the evening session - the Special Shapes Glodeo.

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