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Photos of 40 yr Old Everglades Rocket


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#1    Dumpnuts

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:58 PM

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Relic of the space race hidden in the Everglades: The secret 10-storey moon rocket abandoned for more than 40 years

Sitting deep in a 150ft deep hole in the ground in the swampy Florida Everglades lies the largest solid rocket booster ever built - a relic of the American space race.
Standing 10 stories tall and about 20 feet wide, the rocket was originally intended to carry men to the moon.
Aerojet General reportedly built the rocket manufacturing plant in 1963, hoping to build solid fuel rockets for the Apollo moon mission.
In the end, NASA chose liquid-fueled Saturn rockets and Aeroject never got the contract. The site was abandoned in 1969, along with the rocket in its 150-foot deep testing silo, where it has remained for more than 40 years.

http://www.dailymail...d-40-years.html



Edited by DumpsterJesus, 21 February 2014 - 07:59 PM.

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:11 PM

Whilst interesting the article is factually incorrect in places (it's the Daily Mail... I'll say no more).

For example it says:

Quote

Aerojet General reportedly built the rocket manufacturing plant in 1963, hoping to build solid fuel rockets for the Apollo moon mission.
In the end, NASA chose liquid-fueled Saturn rockets and Aeroject never got the contract.
These dates just don't add up. NASA selected the Saturn V when it selected the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) method of reaching the Moon (it's main rival had been the Direct Ascent which required a huge rocket called Nova or the Earth Orbit Rendezvous requiring two smaller, Saturn Ib class rockets).

The problem is that NASA made that decision in June 1962, at least 6 months BEFORE Aerojet even built the facility. NASA confirmed the Saturn V as the launcher for the Apollo landing missions in early 1963.

It repeats that error here:

Quote

Between September 25, 1965 and June 17, 1967, three static test firings took place. According to witnesses, the flames on the second test could be seen in Miami

By the time the rocket was tested for the third time, NASA had already made the decision to go with liquid-fueled engines for the expeditions to the moon.
In fact by the time that the third test was made the first flight of the Saturn V was only 5 months away. The Aerojet solid motor had never been in the running for the Moon landings.

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#3    Dumpnuts

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:20 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 21 February 2014 - 10:11 PM, said:

Whilst interesting the article is factually incorrect in places (it's the Daily Mail... I'll say no more).

For example it says:

These dates just don't add up. NASA selected the Saturn V when it selected the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) method of reaching the Moon (it's main rival had been the Direct Ascent which required a huge rocket called Nova or the Earth Orbit Rendezvous requiring two smaller, Saturn Ib class rockets).

The problem is that NASA made that decision in June 1962, at least 6 months BEFORE Aerojet even built the facility. NASA confirmed the Saturn V as the launcher for the Apollo landing missions in early 1963.

It repeats that error here:

In fact by the time that the third test was made the first flight of the Saturn V was only 5 months away. The Aerojet solid motor had never been in the running for the Moon landings.
I appreciate the corrections. Daily Mail has earned it's nickname (Daily Fail) honestly. I always try to find an alternative source when posting DM articles (unless I'm feeling particularly lazy) but unfortunately google searches for Aerojet Everglades brought too many pages for me to want to sift through it all. Yet another byproduct of my laziness ( I'll just blame it on fatherhood).

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#4    DONTEATUS

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 12:48 AM

Then what are the actual details about the Rocket in the Hole? For what reason was It built Waspie?

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#5    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:31 PM

View PostDONTEATUS, on 24 February 2014 - 12:48 AM, said:

Then what are the actual details about the Rocket in the Hole? For what reason was It built Waspie?

As far as I can work out the original article is partially correct in that this project WAS for an alternative 1st stage for the Saturn V rocket. However it seems that it was intended for a later version of the Saturn V to be used AFTER the Moon landings. Originally it was intended that the Saturn V would continue to fly and evolve. NASA saw it as the rocket that would take humans to Mars in the 1970's or '80's. Nuclear upper stages were proposed. and all sorts of other modifications, including, I suspect, this huge, monolithic solid fuelled first stage.

Even before the Moon landings it was clear that public support was waning for the huge spending that was going on during the Apollo era. Many projects were cancelled even before Neil Armstrong stepped off of the Eagle's ladder and into the history books. This project was one of those cancelled.

In the end only one of the proposed Apollo follow on projects ever actually flew... Skylab. The launch of that space station was the only flight of a Saturn V not related to the Apollo lunar programme.

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