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  Restoring and upgrading NASA Ames' Titan I

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Author Topic:   Restoring and upgrading NASA Ames' Titan I
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-18-2010 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The move of an aging Titan 1 ICBM from its outside display at NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC) in Moffett Field, California, to its new home was completed Thursday, March 18, 2010, reports

Credit: NASAHackSpace/Matt Reyes
This Titan 1 was brought to ARC in 1969 and was used in a variety of tests to study buffeting of launch vehicles during atmospheric ascent. The rocket has been sitting outside since the early 1980s as an exhibit next to the (former) Ames visitor's center.

A team has been assembled that will restore this rocket and upgrade it to serve as an educational tool as well as a smallsat payload integration testbed - much in keeping with its original appearance at Ames 41 years ago. This project will be undertaken at NASA Ames Research Center at Building 596, a.k.a. "McMoons," where the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) has been under way for two years.

The Titan 1 team includes SpaceRef Interactive Inc., SkyCorp Inc, and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. The intent is to involve a wide range of local groups and citizens of all ages in this project in a crowd-sourced, participatory exploration format.

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2272
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 03-18-2010 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that is a rare bird. At the old Strategic Air Command Museum when it was in Bellevue, NE, we had a Titan 1 erected vertically and it stood proud in the rocket park for many years until a bad thunderstorm blew the upper half of the upper stage off. Of course, since that time the lower stage hasn't been displayed either.

I know at one time the museum was looking to replace it with another Titan, but the arms limitation treaties meant they either had to be flown as satellite launchers or destroyed, so forget getting a display one. Too bad the museum can't horse trade for this Titan 1.


Posts: 542
From: Seminole, Fla.
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 03-19-2010 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've often wondered what ever happened to the Titan I that was displayed horizontally for many years on US 1 in front of Titusville High School. The poor thing was in pretty bad shape when I last saw it, probably in the late 90s.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-19-2010 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After being hit by a car in 2005, Titusville High School's Titan 1 was the focus of a short-lived "Save the Rocket" effort. After it was determined to be beyond repair, the missile was turned over to Brevard Community College's SpaceTEC program "to be used as a training aid for future aerospace workers" and it was moved to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


Posts: 89
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 03-19-2010 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the old Titusville Titan I can be seen here near the old Building L (being demolished) at the Cape:

View Larger Map

Though this image is years old, I saw the Titan there recently.

Another Titan I is found erected alongside I-75 at Exit 99 in Cordele, GA.


Posts: 475
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-19-2010 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Florida Today article "Rocket too rusty to be refurbished" [Editor's note: from the collectSPACE 2005 entry] is not an active link. I searched for the original article at the Florida Today but didn't find the story. Oh well.

I remember examining that rocket one morning waiting for a shuttle to launch. I was amazed how beautiful some of the piping and wiring was which hadn't been affected by the ravages of time.


Posts: 481
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 03-20-2010 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a few pictures of the Cordele Titan I on my web site.


Posts: 432
From: Orange, California USA
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 03-21-2010 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting about the 1969 arrival date. I have two images of the Titan arriving at ARC captioned as August 1967.

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