Thursday, July 11, 2019

Rocket Display

 Monday, before going to the Golden Spike National Park, we stopped off at Northrop Grumman some where outside of Layton, Utah to check out the display of rockets.

The rockets are in a rectangular patch outside the building so you never actually go in but each rocket had a plate giving information.

The rocket to the left is the space shuttle reusable solid rocket motor.  It is 143 feet long which is why you can't see the whole thing in the photo.   The guide said the Saturn 5 rocket which powered the Apollo missions is three times the size of this one.
 The one with the black is a Minuteman rocket which has a range of 6000 miles.  The stage 1 part of the rocket was built in Utah.  The other, with the blue stripe, is a three stage Trident Rocket.  This is designed to be launched from submarines and the rounded tip helps reduce aerodynamic drag.

This place has 39 rockets, boosters, and parts of various rockets spread throughout the area.  Some of these you don't realize the size until you actually see them in person because some are much smaller than expected.
 This one is a Patriot missile which they began designing in 1972 but it did not go into production until 1981.  This rocket is placed near the front, right next to the parking lot, between the entrance and several motors.

Both the Minuteman and Patriot rockets were designed for military use rather than civilian. Even if these rockets were built elsewhere, Northrup had a hand in either designing or building them.

This piece was designed to be part of the Space Shuttle.  It is referred to as TU-77 or the cylindrical section in the aft most engine.  It is one of the pieces with the O-ring that failed.

The failure of the O-ring is what caused the Challenger to fail that one time back in the 1980's.  The O-ring is on the other side of this section and is where it joined another part.  It has about a 12 foot diameter and is pretty large.

 This shot is taken looking through it at a much smaller Castor IV motor which was used to power several craft such as the Delta, Athena H, etc.  It's first flight was back in 1971.

The little metal thing in the front is the Star 380P which stabilizes satellites in a 22,000 mile geosynchronous orbits.  This is important to always keep them in a certain place above the earth.
This model shows what the solid rocket fuel looks like.  The reason for the interesting interior shape is because it gives the most surface area so when the explosive goes, it causes this to catch fire.

The guide said it is made in one of the 600 gallon mixing "bowl" they got from the Wonder Bakery.  The example you see is actually made with inert materials but it gives visitors a chance to see what the real one looks like.

This is perfectly safe but it is still nice to see because most of us will never get close enough to see it in person.  I'm told when a rocket like this launches, it creates a loud noise and sends out waves that can pin people to walls if you are too close.

I had a blast checking it out.  The site is located a little past the turn off to the Golden Spike National Park and is well worth visiting if you are interested in rocketry.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Tomorrow, I'll share pictures of a 98 year old continuously operating restaurant filled with charm and great food.  Have a great day.

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