TEST SITE ROCKETS INTO HISTORY GROUP ESTABLISHES EDWARDS' LANDMARK.Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. - Honoring more than 50 years of research and development touching virtually every U.S. rocket system, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the professional society for the field of aerospace engineering. The AIAA was founded in 1963 from the merger of four earlier societies: the American Rocket Society (ARS), founded in 1930 as the dedicated Edwards Air Force Base's rocket test site as a historic landmark.
More than 200 people braved Tuesday's chilly, blustery blus·ter
v. blus·tered, blus·ter·ing, blus·ters
1. To blow in loud, violent gusts, as the wind during a storm.
a. To speak in a loudly arrogant or bullying manner. conditions to watch AIAA AIAA American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.
AIAA Associate Insurance Agency Administration (LOMA insurance program)
AIAA Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc. officials, including former Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall Sheila Evans Widnall is an American aerospace researcher and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as United States Secretary of the Air Force between 1993 and 1997, making her the first woman to lead an entire branch of the US military in , dedicate the rocket site as one of its first five historic landmark.
The rocket site was honored for its role in the development of rocket technology used in both national defense and in taking astronauts into space.
``This is where rocket development is really done,'' said former astronaut Gordon Cooper Leroy Gordon "Gordo" Cooper, Jr. (March 6 1927 – October 4 2004) was an American astronaut. He was one of the original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned-space effort by the United States. Early years
Cooper was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. , whose Mercury and Gemini space flights were powered by rocket engines developed at the rocket site. ``They have done a lot of historic engines. The people here have put in long, long hours in testing and development.''
Established in 1947 on rocky Luehman Ridge overlooking Rogers Dry Lake, the rocket site covers more than 65 square miles and has facilities that would cost more than $3.1 billion to replicate. Throughout its history, the rocket site has developed engines for such rockets as the Atlas, which powered the Mercury space flights; the Minuteman missile Minuteman missile
U.S. ICBM first deployed in 1962. Its three generations—the Minuteman I (1962–73), the Minuteman II (1966–95), and the Minuteman III (from 1970)—have constituted most of the land-based nuclear arsenal of the U.S. since the 1960s. ; and the Saturn that powered the Apollo moon missions.
``If it's rocket it probably came from here,'' said Bill Lawrence The name Bill Lawrence may refer to:
Its current research and development efforts include developing new propellants at the molecular level and the testing of rocket engines capable of generating more than 1.76 million pounds of thrust.
The site has been known by a variety of official titles over the years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time latest being Air Force Research Laboratory - Propulsion Directorate. However, to Antelope Valley residents and rocket enthusiasts the facilities are known as the ``rocket site,'' ``rocket lab'' or simply ``the rock.''
Other historic aerospace sites being recognized this year by the AIAA are Dutch Flats Airport in San Diego where Charles Lindbergh made the first flight in the Spirit of St. Louis Spirit of St. Louis
Charles Lindbergh’s plane. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 287]
See : Aviation , the airplane he later flew across the Atlantic; a Massachusetts farm that belonged to Robert Goddard's Aunt Effie, where Goddard launched the first liquid propellant rocket in 1926; the original Aerojet Engineering Company manufacturing facility in Pasadena; and Tranquillity Base on the moon, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set down on the first moon landing.
``The rocket site is the quiet part of the Edwards saga,'' said Widnall, the former Air Force secretary who is now president of the AIAA.
Among the little-known historic events at the site were the first launches of the Minuteman missile tests. The missiles were actually launched only to short altitudes and were brought crashing back to Earth by nylon tethers.
Lawrence expressed concerns about the health of the rocket site in an era of defense cuts. Lawrence said rocket research requires high-capital investments and that the private sector is not likely to make the investments required because of small profit margins.
``This laboratory has sustained unconscionable Unusually harsh and shocking to the conscience; that which is so grossly unfair that a court will proscribe it.
When a court uses the word unconscionable to describe conduct, it means that the conduct does not conform to the dictates of conscience. cuts that must be reversed,'' Lawrence said.
Among those in attendance was Richard Weiss, who held a variety of posts during a 35-year career at the laboratory, including serving as chief scientist and as a site director.
``It's a profound recognition of the site's people and capabilities. It's well-deserved,'' Weiss said. ``I hope it keeps going and keeps doing good things.''
The rocket site has about 600 workers at any given time, about 230 of whom are military and Defense Department civilians. The others work for private companies.
(1 -- color) Test Stand 1A at Edwards Air Force Base is prominent during a tour of the rocket test site, which was dedicated as a landmark Tuesday
(2 -- color) A hall thruster for satellite propulsion is displayed by research engineer Bill Hargus.
(3 -- color) The dedication was attended by, from left, retired Col. Gordon Cooper, Sheila E. Widnall, Col. Al Janiszewski, and William Lawrence.
Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer