Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Places
  Rotational Test Facility found and being returned to Downey Foundation

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Rotational Test Facility found and being returned to Downey Foundation
E2M Lem Man
Member

Posts: 793
From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 08-28-2007 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Aerospace Legacy Foundation:

Rotational Test Facility found and being returned to Downey Foundation

The original Rotational Test Facility that was used in Downey at the North American-Rockwell facility in the mid-1960's has been found and will be returned shortly to the factory where it was used.

The RTF was not so much a centrifuge but a spinning chamber that was used to evaluate the ways astronauts would adapt to centrifugal forces on long term space missions where artificial gravity would be needed for the human body to survive.

The chamber, which was constructed from a Boeing KC-97 aircraft fuselage, was long thought to be destroyed but was found in a local Los Angeles junkyard!

Though graffitied, its original company markings can still be seen after 40 years.

It is slated to be moved soon, after a special cradle is built for its transport back to Downey studios, where it will be displayed beside the Apollo boilerplate command module first used to test the Apollo escape system in 1963. That spacecraft will be opened for the first time in nearly 40 years later this week.

Photos of the RTF and the chamber will be posted later this week.

J. M. Busby
Media Relations
Aerospace Legacy Foundation (.org)

dtemple
Member

Posts: 605
From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 08-28-2007 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look forward to seeing those photos. Seeing photos of the BP-6's interior would be interesting, too. One must wonder what other artifacts of the space race are still out there to be discovered!

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 08-28-2007 10:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great work, as ever, Jim - you are turning Downey back into quite a space attraction, and doing some great preservation work.

E2M Lem Man
Member

Posts: 793
From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 08-29-2007 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are two photos of the chamber. First is an artist's view of the concept with two 40 foot crew modules spinning with the Downey plant in the background.

The second is the finished single chamber spinning on the end of a 160 foot diameter beam rotating at four revolutions per minute. It could house 4 men for single week long missions.

The Aerospace Legacy Foundation is currently searching for more information and materials about this facility. If any collectspacers can help please contact me!

James Busby
Director, Aerospace Legacy Foundation

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement