Author Topic: Save Atlas 5A (56-6742) rocket from being scrapped - Campaign and Fundraiser  (Read 47514 times)

Online John-H

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The  Atlas rocket in front of the science museum in Ottawa is coming down. Despite the extremely light  balloon tank structure, it has stood upright, out in the weather  for over 40 years. Are there any other such rockets preserved?

 The museum itself has suffered from years of neglect and is now closed because  the roof leaks.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/science-and-tech-museum-will-lose-rocket-pumpjack

John
---

UPDATE. THIS IS NOW A CAMPAIGN.

Someone had to do something.


A Kickstarter campaign had been launched by me.

Spread the word. Widely.

The monies collected (if any) will be 100% used to stop the vehicle's imminent destruction and to transport it to a suitable home at a yet to be determined location.

The main point of this campaign is to demonstrate to the powers that be, the National Museum of the USAF and the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology the the public cares about this vehicle and to hold off the bulldozers and torches and fund the maintenance of the vehicle in its current state until a proper move can be accomplished.

If you cannot donate I completely understand. No one has deep pockets for this sort of thing. If you cannot donate then call/message the USAF museum and the Canadian museum to tell them to hold off destruction.

Public outcry backed up with a plan is the only thing that's going to save this Atlas from the scrapper.

Thanks.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/287720970/save-the-atlas
« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 06:25 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Ronpur50

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That is sad.  Maybe they could sell the pieces of the Atlas for a fundraiser.

Offline Rocket Science

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They could try pumping the tanks full of expanding urethane foam to stabilize the rocket for display...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Paul Adams

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That is a good idea - and does no one else want it? What about for the new space wing going up at the Air Force museum in Ohio?
It's all in the data.

Offline Rocket Science

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That is a good idea - and does no one else want it? What about for the new space wing going up at the Air Force museum in Ohio?
Maybe, they don't show an Atlas. It's always about money...

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/exhibits/missile/index.asp
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~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online kevin-rf

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I thought back in the 90's the Atlas at the Air Force Museum had was setup outdoors and was struct by lightning causing it depressurize and collapse. I vaguely recall something about that years ago.

I might be wrong, but wiki on currently displayed Atlas's
Quote
HGM-16F Atlas is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. For years the missile was displayed outside the museum. In 1998 it was removed from display. It was restored by the museum's restoration staff and returned to display in the museum's new Missile Silo Gallery in 2007. The white nose cone atop the museum's Atlas is an AVCO IV re-entry vehicle built to contain a nuclear warhead. This nose cone actually stood alert in defense of the United States, as it was initially installed on an Atlas on 2 October 1962 at a Denton Valley launch site near Clyde, Texas.
(The National Museum of the United States Air Force does not have an Atlas on display currently; they do have two in storage, these are visible on the Behind the Scenes Tour.)

Atlas 5A (56-6742) is on display on the lawn in front of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Canada.
(5A was on display throughout the 1960s at the former location of the Air Force Museum, at Wright-Patterson AFB Building 89 near Xenia Drive in Fairborn, Ohio. Formerly a static-test article, it is the only surviving Atlas in the original A-series configuration, before the boat-tail modifications that solved thermal issues which caused the early termination of the first two Atlas test flights, 4A and 6A.)

Atlas 8A is displayed in front of the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Nebraska; reconfigured as an Atlas D.
Atlas 2E is on display in front of the San Diego Air & Space Museum at Gillespie Field, El Cajon, California.
Atlas 2D mounted with a Mercury capsule is on display in the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Merritt Island, Florida

I remember back in the early 2000's seeing one on display in Huntsville, what happened to it?
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Offline edkyle99

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Cut it into tiny pieces?  A real shame.  More than a shame, but I don't want to write the words.  The only A-series Atlas that survived in its original form.  This thing is a real piece of history, representing the configuration of the very first Atlas (4A) flown during the massive ICBM Cold War effort.   Missile 5A is the oldest surviving Atlas - a contemporary of the Navaho G26 that survives at the Cape.  Missile 5A was test fired 11 times on Test Stand 1-1 at Edwards Rocket Base in 1957, the second Atlas tested there and the fourth Atlas test fired anywhere.  I'm very surprised that it cannot be saved, that no one wants it saved.  (Well, I want it saved.)

BTW, this thread should be retitled to something like "Historic Atlas Missile to be Scrapped".

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/12/2015 07:37 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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More info here.

http://www.warbirdsnews.com/warbirds-news/17887.html

The story notes that this Atlas is serial number 56-6742, and that "it is possible that the Air Force Museum could assign the rocket to another museum if that entity paid for its move and restoration".

And here's a beautiful image of Atlas 5A by David Carroll of Canada Science and Technology Museum, which can be shared with attribution per the Creative Commons rules at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A shame this is currently bound for a shredder.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/13/2015 07:13 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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Scrapping to begin during "the next few weeks".

http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/02/10/museum-to-dismantle-rocket

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/14/2015 03:34 PM by edkyle99 »

Online John-H

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It was still there - in the snow - yesterday.

Offline Danderman

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I'll be happy to take it, I have plenty of desert land where the thing could sit forever.

Online Kansan52

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Maybe a $1,000 for shipping. Another $2k to stabilized and ship?

Offline Danderman

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If you guys can get it to my land, I would be happy to handle the zoning issues and hosting the hardware. My land virtually never sees rain, so it is like the boneyards in Mojave where aircraft are stored.

and, I have an empty structure (a car garage) that is 44 feet long and about 30 feet high, maybe it could house the hardware in a semi-erect position.


« Last Edit: 02/16/2015 06:57 PM by Danderman »

Offline Jim

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Maybe a $1,000 for shipping. Another $2k to stabilized and ship?

It needs a specialized trailer that was specifically designed for it.

Offline Blackstar

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Presumably it also needs the leaks plugged before anything can be done with that. And you'd have to disconnect what is probably an electric compressor and attach another compressor that was transportable, maybe battery powered.

Sadly, it strikes me that moving this would require a fair amount of prep work and some specialized equipment, and probably some special permits for transport (maybe special paperwork to ship it across a national border) and none of that is going to happen in a few weeks or in winter. I think this one is a goner.

Offline Jim

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Presumably it also needs the leaks plugged before anything can be done with that. And you'd have to disconnect what is probably an electric compressor and attach another compressor that was transportable, maybe battery powered.


The specialized trailer could hold the vehicle in stretch, eliminating the need for pressurization

Online John-H

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Something like this?

This is a "Lost Ottawa" picture from it's arrival in 1973. It looks to be about the right size for a legal road trailer.

John


Offline Antilope7724

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Here's a link to a newspaper picture of the collapsed Atlas missile
at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio in 1986. (scroll up to view damage)

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19860620&id=s85PAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-gYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4506,2122999

Story of AF museum Atlas missile collapse in 1986
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QfJGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dfMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1450%2C2393998
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 01:15 AM by Antilope7724 »

Offline Rocket Science

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I checked the Smithsonian and they show photos of the one that was on display at the USSRC on the trailer... One would think they would be the natural caretakers...

http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19750667000
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Offline Jim

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Something like this?

This is a "Lost Ottawa" picture from it's arrival in 1973. It looks to be about the right size for a legal road trailer.


It was made for cross country transport.

Offline Jim

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Something like this?

This is a "Lost Ottawa" picture from it's arrival in 1973. It looks to be about the right size for a legal road trailer.


Note the nozzles, conical vs bell shaped.

Offline the_other_Doug

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But... how many of those trailers are still in existence?  They are sort of non-multi-purpose designs.

I'd guess the trailers are significantly more rare than intact Atlas missiles.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline edkyle99

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Something like this?

This is a "Lost Ottawa" picture from it's arrival in 1973. It looks to be about the right size for a legal road trailer.


Note the nozzles, conical vs bell shaped.
Atlas A was supposed to have two 150 Klbf booster engines, but I seem to remember Art LeBrun telling me once that the initial Atlas A's had conical 135 Klbf engines that were basically repurposed Navaho G38 booster engines, or at least thrust chambers and nozzles.  UPDATE:  HERE'S HIS QUOTE: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=14554.msg388219#msg388219
If these engines are still with this Atlas, they alone are crazy historic.

As for the transport trailers, I've seen a couple within the past decade.  One was at the Cape.  One was at USSRC and was later reportedly moved to Dayton.

Here are some Atlas A dimensions, for general information.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 04:05 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Blackstar

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But... how many of those trailers are still in existence?  They are sort of non-multi-purpose designs.

I'd guess the trailers are significantly more rare than intact Atlas missiles.

And even if they exist, are they road-worthy? Do they have working brakes, lights, suspension? Have they been inspected? Are they rusted and structurally unsafe? They're at least 60+ years old.

I have no doubt that this Atlas could be moved to someplace that wanted it given enough time and money, but they're planning on scrapping it in a few weeks. And it is winter.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 03:18 AM by Blackstar »

Offline tea monster

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Has anyone contacted the ULA? This is a part of thier heritage which is about to get scrapped. They might be interested in saving it.

The Smithsonian?

A complete long-shot, but has anyone thought of asking either Mr. Bezos or Mr. Musk? I ask this as they are people with a fair bit of money who are interested in space flight. It might be that they would want a bit of space history to own. Admittedly a BIG long shot, but might be worth trying to save this bird.

I am probably the least 'connected' member of this forum, but has anyone else on this board mentioned this to any of the people who could possibly intervene in this situation? It may be that they are not aware of the situation. It would be a terrible shame for someone to come forward after the missile is gone and say "I could have saved it if I'd known."

Online kevin-rf

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Here's a link to a newspaper picture of the collapsed Atlas missile
at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio in 1986. (scroll up to view damage)

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19860620&id=s85PAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-gYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4506,2122999

Story of AF museum Atlas missile collapse in 1986
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QfJGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dfMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1450%2C2393998

Thanks for digging that up.
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Online Herb Schaltegger

As for the transport trailers, I've seen a couple within the past decade.  One was at the Cape.  One was at USSRC and was later reportedly moved to Dayton.


Do you know when it was moved? It was still there the last time I was in Huntsville (summer 2009).

« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 12:57 PM by Herb Schaltegger »
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Offline Antilope7724

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Here's a Google Maps picture of a hanger near the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Right next to the hanger is a large yellow trailer-like object that looks like it could be a missile trailer. A distance measurement shows it to be 70 feet (21m) long.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/1100+Spaatz+St,+Wright-Patterson+AFB,+Riverside,+OH+45431/@39.7795718,-84.0954049,95m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x8840832fb360e8e5:0x83665be9f601b373?hl=en
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 02:42 PM by Antilope7724 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Perhaps someone close to ULA could ask if they would like to help save a piece of their space history? Right before every Atlas V launch they always make a speech about the Atlas rocket legacy. Maybe it time to walk the talk... Just sayin'...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Rocket Science

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Here's a Google Maps picture of a hanger near the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Right next to the hanger is a large yellow trailer-like object that looks like it could be a missile trailer. A distance measurement shows it to be 70 feet (21m) long.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/1100+Spaatz+St,+Wright-Patterson+AFB,+Riverside,+OH+45431/@39.7795718,-84.0954049,95m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x8840832fb360e8e5:0x83665be9f601b373?hl=en
Nice find, that might be the one! :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Danderman

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Great, let me know when you guys figure a way to move the thing to Southern California, so I can start work on hosting the missile out in the desert.

 8)

I have a crew working on cleaning out a structure today to contain the hardware.

« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 06:26 PM by Danderman »

Online kevin-rf

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Perhaps someone close to ULA could ask if they would like to help save a piece of their space history? Right before every Atlas V launch they always make a speech about the Atlas rocket legacy. Maybe it time to walk the talk... Just sayin'...

Could always use the hashtag #AskULA ... They where doing Q&A's with it recently, also @torybruno would most likely get someone's attention.
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Offline edkyle99

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Perhaps someone close to ULA could ask if they would like to help save a piece of their space history? Right before every Atlas V launch they always make a speech about the Atlas rocket legacy. Maybe it time to walk the talk... Just sayin'...
A company like ULA might be able to donate to a fund for such a cause, but what is really needed is a museum or similar organization interested in taking on this piece of history.  The U.S. Air Force - and likely the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in particular - seems to be the ultimate decision maker about the fate of this artifact.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 08:43 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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As for the transport trailers, I've seen a couple within the past decade.  One was at the Cape.  One was at USSRC and was later reportedly moved to Dayton.
Do you know when it was moved? It was still there the last time I was in Huntsville (summer 2009).
I believe that it was moved around the time of the Saturn V move, so perhaps it was just relocated to provide space for that work.  A search shows images of the Atlas back in place in 2012, if not later, so it seems to still be in Huntsville. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 09:30 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Thomas Dorman

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About this Atlas rocket has anyone tried to see if maybe the  White Sands Missile Range
 Missile Park may want it since the beginning of the Atlas family testing started there with the MX774 in the late 1940's.
http://www.wsmr-history.org/MissilePark.htm
Also does the Smithsonian Air and Space know that an historic, one of a kind, artifact is about to be lost? Smithsonian as I understand under law is charged with preserving such space history. Also I know of  past examples where artifacts held by the USAF being lost in that the Smithsonian  was never asked if they wished to acquire them. Be a shamed to see such an important artifact of our nation's defense/space history go to a scrape yard with out at least some out cry to it's preservation.

Offline Helodriver

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I am in touch with the Vandenberg AFB Historical Museum about the Atlas. They are interested but money was the very first issue that came up. They are however, interested in it, which is a start. I'm going to visit the director tomorrow to discuss.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 10:43 PM by Helodriver »

Offline Rocket Science

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I am in touch with the Vandenberg AFB Historical Museum about the Atlas. They are interested but money was the very first issue that came up. They are however, interested in it, which is a start. I'm going to visit the director tomorrow to discuss.
That's great! Maybe we can get them and ULA talking to each other? ;)
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 10:56 PM by Rocket Science »
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Online Herb Schaltegger

As for the transport trailers, I've seen a couple within the past decade.  One was at the Cape.  One was at USSRC and was later reportedly moved to Dayton.
Do you know when it was moved? It was still there the last time I was in Huntsville (summer 2009).
I believe that it was moved around the time of the Saturn V move, so perhaps it was just relocated to provide space for that work.  A search shows images of the Atlas back in place in 2012, if not later, so it seems to still be in Huntsville. 

 - Ed Kyle

When we were last there in '09, the Saturn V was already in the Davidson Center building, and the Atlas looked pretty great for a >40 year old bird. And as you can see in my photo, the transporter looked like it had had a new coat of nuclear yellow paint recently too. :)

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Offline Rocket Science

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ULA needs something on their lawn either HQ or in Decatur... ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Rocket Science

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Now this is what a rocket company should look like... ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online John-H

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I took some more detailed pictures of the (soon to be removed) rocket today. The base is closed off by a cover, but I stuck my camera in a hole and took a random shot of the engines.

John

Offline Rocket Science

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Nice details John! 8)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online John-H

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Someone on another thread was questioning the weight of the electronics on a rocket. Look at the size of some of these connectors and the fixtures supporting them

John

Offline Jim

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Someone on another thread was questioning the weight of the electronics on a rocket. Look at the size of some of these connectors and the fixtures supporting them


This was a 60 year design.  It didn't even have a computer, just rotating cams for a flight programer.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Yep -- back then, rockets predominantly had mechanical sequencers rather than electronics.  It was reliable, proven technology.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online John-H

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The big plugs weren't for the computer, they were for connecting to ground support.

These days you could theoretically get away with two power pins and a Bluetooth chip. How many pins and wires are actually used to connect more modern rockets to the stand?

John

Offline Jim

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The big plugs weren't for the computer, they were for connecting to ground support.


You were questioning the weight of the electronics of current vehicle to present ones.  My point was that it is not a valid comparison since the "electronics" of this rocket included heavy mechanisms.


These days you could theoretically get away with two power pins and a Bluetooth chip. How many pins and wires are actually used to connect more modern rockets to the stand?


Because there was no computers, all the sensors on the rocket had direct connection to the ground support equipment. There were many sensor that were only used before liftoff and not in flight.  Those sensors got their stimulation from ground power and the read out was in the blockhouse (hence the close placement of the blockhouse to the pad).

Just for the payloads on modern rockets, there are two connectors of 37 or 61 pins.

Offline edkyle99

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I took some more detailed pictures of the (soon to be removed) rocket today. The base is closed off by a cover, but I stuck my camera in a hole and took a random shot of the engines.

John
It does have those conical nozzle engines!  Wow.  The number of engines of this type still in existence is almost zero.  Soon, it will be even closer to zero.  Rocketdyne was still learning how to when it delivered these, and it still had a lot to learn.  And Convair still had a lot to learn about turbopump exhaust recirculation effects, ect., when it delivered this rocket.

Your images of this beautiful, rare machine are bringing tears. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/19/2015 03:57 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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Some more tidbits that relate to Atlas 5A, which uniquely retains the original Atlas configuration, because significant modifications were made to the design after the first two failed Atlas launches (4A and 6A).  Missiles 12A and 10A were the first to use the modifications, and both succeeded.  The mods included:

1.  Shortened engine fairing and engine nacelle.
2.  Repositioned heat shield.
3.  Canted turbopump exhaust
4.  Aluminum tubing replaced by stainless steel in engine section.
5.  Stronger pod attachments.
6.  Modified autopilot system.

These changes are shown in the following film.



So 5A really is one-of-a-kind. 

No one would dare scrap a rare automobile.  Some are worth millions when even a dozen remain.  People rebuild and restore them from a few rusted scraps.  Same with rare aircraft.  Atlas 5A is a one-of-a-kind example of Cold War, dawn-of-the-Space Age rocketry.  It is rarer than some of those 1930's era Bugatti's.   

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/19/2015 11:37 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline the_roche_lobe

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Jeez Ed,

The photographer at 5:25 seems awful close to the pad! Or is that some kind of forced perspective?

Great film.

P

Online John-H

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Here are a couple more pictures, one under the skirt and one outside. The bottom bands of the engine bell are rusting, but the body shell and skirt have  no visible rust at all. There is a structure covering the bottom of the skirt, but I think all of the weight is on the side supports.

John

Offline Rocket Science

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online John-H

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...

I don't believe a word of it either. They are also removing the oil well pump ( the green object in the background) due to "safety concerns" after 40 years. I'm beginning to think that every press release these days has to include some  version of "think of the children".

John

Offline pippin

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I took some more detailed pictures of the (soon to be removed) rocket today. The base is closed off by a cover, but I stuck my camera in a hole and took a random shot of the engines.

John
It does have those conical nozzle engines!  Wow.  The number of engines of this type still in existence is almost zero.  Soon, it will be even closer to zero.  Rocketdyne was still learning how to when it delivered these, and it still had a lot to learn.  And Convair still had a lot to learn about turbopump exhaust recirculation effects, ect., when it delivered this rocket.

Your images of this beautiful, rare machine are bringing tears. 

 - Ed Kyle

I think there's a number of Blue Streak and Europa vehicles around here in Europe which have similar engines (conical nozzles), I think they never got a lot of the updates they made to Atlas.

I know about one in Munich definitely.

Offline Blackstar

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...

I don't believe a word of it either. They are also removing the oil well pump ( the green object in the background) due to "safety concerns" after 40 years. I'm beginning to think that every press release these days has to include some  version of "think of the children".

I believe it. The Atlas has to stay pressurized or it crumples and can fall over. That requires the generator and compressor to remain active and maintained (inspected regularly). If the museum is short on cash, they probably don't want to pay the grounds keeper to do the inspections. And if the Atlas is leaking they probably know that they need to do something to fix the leaks. Whether or not they have actually done a formal assessment and figured out the costs, they can at least guess that it is going to cost money that they do not have.

Why not display it horizontally? Because that requires them to lower it to the ground and build a mount for it. That also costs money. And they still have to plug the leaks and pay somebody to check on the compressor and generator regularly. Again, they're short of cash.

Plus, you don't know anything about their insurance liability. They may have an insurance policy that says that if something has been identified as a safety risk and they do not fix it within X months, the insurance will not cover it, or the premiums skyrocket.

The one sure thing about demolition is that it is a fixed, one-time cost: pay it and they're done, and maybe their insurance rates go down.

Offline AS-503

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...

I don't believe a word of it either. They are also removing the oil well pump ( the green object in the background) due to "safety concerns" after 40 years. I'm beginning to think that every press release these days has to include some  version of "think of the children".

I believe it. The Atlas has to stay pressurized or it crumples and can fall over..........


What Blackstar said. They're called balloon tanks for a reason.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_tank

They are very thin, large stainless steel skinned structures, not relatively thick iso-grid aluminum.
When sticking a Mercury capsule instead of the designed-for warhead on top, they originally had to use a "belly band" steel belt around the upper part of the rocket so that it could handle the new shock wave without structural failure

Offline Rocket Science

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...

I don't believe a word of it either. They are also removing the oil well pump ( the green object in the background) due to "safety concerns" after 40 years. I'm beginning to think that every press release these days has to include some  version of "think of the children".

I believe it. The Atlas has to stay pressurized or it crumples and can fall over. That requires the generator and compressor to remain active and maintained (inspected regularly). If the museum is short on cash, they probably don't want to pay the grounds keeper to do the inspections. And if the Atlas is leaking they probably know that they need to do something to fix the leaks. Whether or not they have actually done a formal assessment and figured out the costs, they can at least guess that it is going to cost money that they do not have.

Why not display it horizontally? Because that requires them to lower it to the ground and build a mount for it. That also costs money. And they still have to plug the leaks and pay somebody to check on the compressor and generator regularly. Again, they're short of cash.

Plus, you don't know anything about their insurance liability. They may have an insurance policy that says that if something has been identified as a safety risk and they do not fix it within X months, the insurance will not cover it, or the premiums skyrocket.

The one sure thing about demolition is that it is a fixed, one-time cost: pay it and they're done, and maybe their insurance rates go down.
I suggested at the beginning of this thread that they could pump the tanks full of expanding urethane and once set with the tank skin would be very rigid and I also said it’s always about money...  Or it could be as you stated as well...  Now if we see some property development happening on that site then we‘ll know the truth...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Rocket Science

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...

I don't believe a word of it either. They are also removing the oil well pump ( the green object in the background) due to "safety concerns" after 40 years. I'm beginning to think that every press release these days has to include some  version of "think of the children".

I believe it. The Atlas has to stay pressurized or it crumples and can fall over..........


What Blackstar said. They're called balloon tanks for a reason.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_tank

They are very thin, large stainless steel skinned structures, not relatively thick iso-grid aluminum.
When sticking a Mercury capsule instead of the designed-for warhead on top, they originally had to use a "belly band" steel belt around the upper part of the rocket so that it could handle the new shock wave without structural failure
Please don't tell me what I already know and I guess you didn't read my post on the first page as well... I don't need Wiki to know this stuff thanks...
« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 10:16 AM by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Blackstar

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Now if we see some property development happening on that site then we‘ll know the truth...

The museum is broke. They have closed. Sitting outside is a rocket that requires an air compressor and a generator to keep working or it will collapse, possibly falling on somebody.

This is a pretty simple and straightforward explanation.

Offline edkyle99

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The museum is broke. They have closed. Sitting outside is a rocket that requires an air compressor and a generator to keep working or it will collapse, possibly falling on somebody.

This is a pretty simple and straightforward explanation.
Yes it is, but only for that particular museum, and that museum does not make the final choice regarding the missile's fate.  That choice appears to be made by the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which recently budgeted $35.426 million for a new building, houses thousands of objects worth billions but depreciated at less than $150 million, and could, if it wanted, afford to stretch this Atlas, ship it south to the U.S., install the same internal bracing that has been used on a number of other Atlases, and put it on display either in Dayton or elsewhere.

For whatever reason, they don't want this artifact, yet last year they acquired hundreds of artifacts, several big and costly.  They're going to display a Titan 4, for example.  It isn't about money.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 03:47 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Rocket Science

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I will kick in money to help save this vehicle if it could be organized...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Blackstar

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For whatever reason, they don't want this artifact, yet last year they acquired hundreds of artifacts, several big and costly.  They're going to display a Titan 4, for example.  It isn't about money.

Yes it is. Money is tied to priorities. If they had more money, they could add this to their priority list. But obviously they have not.

I don't know the inner workings of the Air Force Museum, but from an outsider perspective I am sure that their number one priority right now is building that new building. A couple of years ago sequestration forced them to stop the buses to the R&D and presidential aircraft hangars. They have restarted that, but it highlighted the awkward situation of having dozens of important aircraft in a difficult to reach location that could suddenly be cut off. So I'm sure that put erecting a new building and moving those planes to the public side at the top of their priority list, and it's hard to argue otherwise.

I've also hung around museum curators at times and you would be shocked at how much stuff costs. Transporting that missile anywhere is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. It requires renting equipment, using specialized equipment, and lots of paperwork like permits, safety inspections, etc. If it is USAF property, imagine the paperwork that has to be dealt with for Canadian customs inspectors.

I'd like to see this Atlas A survive, but if you put yourself in the shoes of these institutions (the Canadian museum and the Air Force Museum) you can see that there are legitimate reasons why it may not be saved.
« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 12:28 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Rocket Science

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One thing I don't get... If this is all about a safety concern, why not just display the rocket horizontally? Something just doesn’t sound right especially coming from a museum. Their concern should be about preserving an artifact...

I don't believe a word of it either. They are also removing the oil well pump ( the green object in the background) due to "safety concerns" after 40 years. I'm beginning to think that every press release these days has to include some  version of "think of the children".

John
John, if you are out at the museum, perhaps you could ask the manager a question... If the rocket is such an immediate hazard to the public, why is the area not cordoned off with a safety fence? I'm curious about their reply...

Thanks
Rob
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline laszlo

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Back when General Dynamics had their facility in Kearny Mesa in San Diego, there was a little spot called Missile Park with a vertical static display of an Atlas 2E rocket. The effect was similar to the photoshopped ULA HQ earlier in this thread.

Rather than pressurizing the missile (or stuffing it with foam), there was an internal metal structure to keep it vertical and "inflated".

It was there many years until the Cold War ended, the plant was closed and the park handed over to the developers.

Maybe the ULA proposal could be put in terms of a Missile Park II.



Offline Rocket Science

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Posted on the Atlas thread:
Cape Canaveral would make a nice home if anyone local would like to ask them.
They show an Atlas F on transporter listed on display.

http://afspacemuseum.org/displays/AtlasF/
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline edkyle99

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I'd like to see this Atlas A survive, but if you put yourself in the shoes of these institutions (the Canadian museum and the Air Force Museum) you can see that there are legitimate reasons why it may not be saved.
I can't understand why they would not want this one.  Right now the Museum of the U.S. Air Force does not have an Atlas missile on display.  It has Titan I and II.  It has Thor and Thor-Agena and, for gosh sakes, Jupiter.  It has Minuteman and Peacekeeper.  It will soon have a Titan 4.  It sorely needs an Atlas, a missile and launch vehicle that played critical roles during the Cold War and Space Age.  I don't understand why they wouldn't drive up to Ottawa and snag this one rather than ordering it to be scrapped, because there are no others and there never will be. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 02:12 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Helodriver

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I will kick in money to help save this vehicle if it could be organized...

Trying to put something together out there with the Vandenberg museum, They'd like to have it on a theoretical level but getting pushback now.

"We have no space to display it inside"

"USAF Museum is against outdoor displays"

"Money"

"Bureaucracy"

The sad thing is I tweeted ULA a couple days ago asking if they'd like to help and the response I got from ULA chief Tory Bruno was positive.

"Derrick.Stamos ‏@Helodriver2004  Feb 17
@torybruno An old Atlas-A In Canada needs a home. Last of its kind. Vandenberg museum could use it, can't afford to move it. Can ULA help?

Tory Bruno ‏@torybruno  Feb 18
@Helodriver2004 Message me contact info and my people will be in touch to see if we can"
 
ULA
‏@ulalaunch @Helodriver2004 If you have information/a proposal, please send it to community@ulalaunch.com and we'll take a look.


If we could stave off the missile's execution for a few more weeks I bet we could save it. Whether it goes to Vandenberg or back to Dayton (where it used to be and really belongs again) or the Cape or a ULA building, it does not matter really so long as its saved.  The feeling I'm getting is that destruction is a matter of being convenient, not necessary and its the perception that the public just doesn't care enough to do the necessary work.





« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 02:38 PM by Helodriver »

Offline Rocket Science

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I will kick in money to help save this vehicle if it could be organized...

Trying to put something together out there with the Vandenberg museum, They'd like to have it on a theoretical level but getting pushback now.

"We have no space to display it inside"

"USAF Museum is against outdoor displays"

"Money"

"Bureaucracy"

The sad thing is I tweeted ULA a couple days ago asking if they'd like to help and the response I got from ULA chief Tory Bruno was positive.

"Derrick.Stamos ‏@Helodriver2004  Feb 17
@torybruno An old Atlas-A In Canada needs a home. Last of its kind. Vandenberg museum could use it, can't afford to move it. Can ULA help?

Tory Bruno ‏@torybruno  Feb 18
@Helodriver2004 Message me contact info and my people will be in touch to see if we can"
 
ULA
‏@ulalaunch @Helodriver2004 If you have information/a proposal, please send it to community@ulalaunch.com and we'll take a look.


If we could stave off the missile's execution for a few more weeks I bet we could save it. Whether it goes to Vandenberg or back to Dayton (where it used to be and really belongs again) or the Cape or a ULA building, it does not matter really so long as its saved.  The feeling I'm getting is that destruction is a matter of being convenient, not necessary and its the perception that the public just doesn't care enough to do the necessary work.
Excellent Helo! :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Ronpur50

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Does anyone have an email to someone at the museum so we can plead/beg them to hold off a while?

Offline Helodriver

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Does anyone have an email to someone at the museum so we can plead/beg them to hold off a while?


Canada Science and Technology Museum
2421 Lancaster Road
Ottawa, Ontario
CANADA

613-991-3044
cts@technomuses.ca


I have called and left messages and email but not received a response. Perhaps if more people did we could get them to hold off a little while.



Offline Rocket Science

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Does anyone have an email to someone at the museum so we can plead/beg them to hold off a while?


Canada Science and Technology Museum
2421 Lancaster Road
Ottawa, Ontario
CANADA

613-991-3044
cts@technomuses.ca


I have called and left messages and email but not received a response. Perhaps if more people did we could get them to hold off a little while.
I'm hoping John-H can speak to someone in person there and make them aware...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline arachnitect

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It would be really great if this missile could be saved.

Barring a rescue of the entire vehicle, would there be value in saving the aft section as a backup plan? It would be much easier to store and ship. At some point in the future it could be reattached to a structurally stable fuselage replica.

Offline Rocket Science

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It would be really great if this missile could be saved.

Barring a rescue of the entire vehicle, would there be value in saving the aft section as a backup plan? It would be much easier to store and ship. At some point in the future it could be reattached to a structurally stable fuselage replica.
I guess tha would be up to the Air Force, better than chopping it up into little pieces for future cans of Coke and tuna fish...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online Kansan52

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I would also donate to save this vehicle.

Email to the Museum:

Save the Atlas.

Please delay any destruction of the display Atlas. There are people attempting to fund removal and storage of the rocket to preserve this historic item.

Thank you for your consideration,
Charley S. McCue
Hutchinson, Kansas

Email to the reporter:

Hello Tom,

I wondered if you would be interested that several people have read your article and are interested in saving the Atlas. There were several versions over the years and few examples left. If the Atlas is not destroyed, then we would try to raise the money to remove and store the rocket.

Thanks you for your article,
Charley S. McCue
Hutchinson, Kansas

Shorter seems better to capture their interest and allow them to ask for further details.

Offline edkyle99

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Another place to send messages:

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433 (near Dayton)
(937) 255-3286

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/main/contactus.asp

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Blackstar

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I will kick in money to help save this vehicle if it could be organized...

You now have an email address for the Canada museum. Why not send them your money via PayPal and tell them that it is for saving the Atlas?

Offline Rocket Science

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I will kick in money to help save this vehicle if it could be organized...

You now have an email address for the Canada museum. Why not send them your money via PayPal and tell them that it is for saving the Atlas?
Nope, I’m not going to do it that way as I don’t believe they really want to save the Atlas and the money will disappear. Now If Chris sets up an account through a NSF membership trust dedicated to saving it I will contribute my grocery money for the cause. I may not have your deep pockets but that’s the best I can do.
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Helodriver

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Someone had to do something.


A Kickstarter campaign had been launched by me.

Spread the word. Widely.

The monies collected (if any) will be 100% used to stop the vehicle's imminent destruction and to transport it to a suitable home at a yet to be determined location.

The main point of this campaign is to demonstrate to the powers that be, the National Museum of the USAF and the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology that the public cares about this vehicle and to hold off the bulldozers and torches and fund the maintenance of the vehicle in its current state until a proper move can be accomplished.

If you cannot donate I completely understand. No one has deep pockets for this sort of thing. If you cannot donate then call/message the USAF museum and the Canadian museum to tell them to hold off destruction.

Public outcry backed up with a plan is the only thing that's going to save this Atlas from the scrapper.

Thanks.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/287720970/save-the-atlas
« Last Edit: 02/20/2015 06:27 PM by Helodriver »

Online Chris Bergin

Changing the thread title to reflect the urgency of this. See Helo's post above.

Online MarekCyzio

Looks like I am the first backer of this project ;) I also contacted http://www.capemuseum.org/index.html to see if they have any ideas on how to help.

Offline Helodriver

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I consider this an NSF crowdsourced effort. One person, me, is not going to be able to pull this off alone, although I can devote significant time to it. Any and all ideas are welcomed as well as people willing to leverage their contacts.

Online Chris Bergin

Tory Bruno ‏@torybruno  6m6 minutes ago
@NASASpaceflight @srepetsk @Helodriver2004 If you guys message me contact info, I'll connect you to my people.

Online Kansan52

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From the reporter:

Thanks for your note. There is in fact a chance that a science centre in
Tennessee called Discovery Park America may try to get it. We have a story
running probably later today online. The issues: Getting permission from
the USAF, which owns the rocket, and figuring out transportation. But stay
tuned

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More a question, this is the only surviving A model and thus the oldest surviving Atlas. Is that correct?

I think that should be pointed out in attempts to save the Atlas.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Rocket Science

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"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline edkyle99

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More a question, this is the only surviving A model and thus the oldest surviving Atlas. Is that correct?

I think that should be pointed out in attempts to save the Atlas.
There is another, 8A, at the SAC Museum, but it has been modified.  5A is the only one in the original "as-built" condition.

 - Ed Kyle 

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Why not attempt to get the Cosmosphere in Hutchison in on this?  They have V-2 stuff, but little or nothing about US rocketry, other than in support of HSF, as I recall.

I shall now go to KickStarter.

Offline Barrie

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Jeff Bezos and Steve Jurvetson seem willing to spend money on this kind of thing, but it will be even nicer if ULA step up to the plate.  I made a pledge just in case.

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Offline JH

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I like the idea of doing a kickstarter, but I think you need to provide some explanation for how the money is going to be spent. $100k is a large number and there currently isn't any justification for the it other than (I assume) that it is probably enough. Keep in mind that kickstarters are only funded if they reach 100% of the target, so it is better to ask for a smaller number than a larger one.

Another important consideration is that most successful kickstarter campaigns have a video. It doesn't have to be the slickest thing in the world, but it also shouldn't be recorded in a darkened room with a phone camera. Clips from the early days of rocketry and a sincere appeal that explains the importance both of America's space program and of this rocket in particular would probably go a LONG way towards motivating people (other than those on this site, who don't really need to be convinced) to donate.

If you do that, you can send links to tech sites (gizmodo, etc.), even (heaven forbid) make a post on reddit. While those communities are not as dedicated to space, they do often hop on bandwagons that they think are quirky and cool. Saving one of the oldest intact rockets ever made in America from destruction might pique their interest.

Online Kansan52

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Why not attempt to get the Cosmosphere in Hutchison in on this?  They have V-2 stuff, but little or nothing about US rocketry, other than in support of HSF, as I recall.

I shall now go to KickStarter.

As a member so no power, the are in fundraiser to revamp the museum so there seems little money available from them.

But if the things fall into place to save the missile, I am certainly willing to approach them.

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From the museum:

Dear Mr. McCue:

Thank you for contacting The Canada Science and Technology Museum about the dismantling of the Atlas rocket.

You should know that the Museum does not own the rocket. It is the property of the United States Air Force (USAF) on loan to the Museum.

There are several reasons why we need to dismantle the rocket now. The main reason is safety.

Over the years, weathering has caused the condition of the rocket to deteriorate. It has not been air tight for many years, and a compressor is required to maintain its internal pressure and prevent it from collapsing in on itself.

As its deterioration becomes more severe, practical solutions are running out. The internal pressure of the rocket must be maintained to prevent it from crumpling -- and potentially injuring visitors to Technology Park.

The USAF has indicated it does not want the Atlas Rocket returned, and has provided strict instructions about the manner of its disposal. Under these terms, the Museum is not permitted to keep or repurpose any pieces of the rocket.

Please be reassured that the Museum is committed to preserving and protecting Canada’s scientific and technological heritage, while also promoting, celebrating, and sharing knowledge of that heritage and how it affects the daily lives of Canadians.

Any decision about the disposition of the Atlas rocket will be made by the United States Air Force. If the USAF should decide to make the rocket, or parts of it, available to another institution we will do what we can to facilitate the transfer.

Sincerely,
Caroline Desabrais
Communications & Marketing Officer
Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation /
Société des musées de sciences et technologies du Canada

Offline Rocket Science

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Bump: I'm in for 100 bucks, the cat and I can diet a bit for a worthy cause... ;D

Please help anyway you can! :)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/287720970/save-the-atlas
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Offline Rocket Science

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Morning check in... Waiting for that safety fence to protect the public to go up, as it all about safety you know...  If we can’t raise funds to immediately move the Atlas, I propose our funds go towards erecting a barrier in order to give us more time to work out matters with USAF, ULA and some future home for her...

http://www.modu-loc.ca/en/
« Last Edit: 02/21/2015 03:26 PM by Rocket Science »
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My two cents: after begging Ottawa for time, the highest priority is to find a stretch frame or figure out how to fabricate one. If the rocket is stable and (theoretically) transportable, finding it a new home gets much easier.

I'd say the second priority is convincing USAF to at least let it be disassembled and crated rather than brutally shredded.

The idea that someone is gonna build an operational ICBM based on an Atlas A is bizarre; better technology has long been available to pretty much anybody.

edit: I accidentally a word
« Last Edit: 02/21/2015 05:42 PM by arachnitect »

Offline Rocket Science

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My two cents: after from begging Ottawa for time, the highest priority is to find a stretch frame or figure out how to fabricate one. If the rocket is stable and (theoretically) transportable, finding it a new home gets much easier.

I'd say the second priority is convincing USAF to at least let it be disassembled and crated rather than brutally shredded.

The idea that someone is gonna build an operational ICBM based on an Atlas A is bizarre; better technology has long been available to pretty much anybody.
What you are describing from what I can understand is a strongback. Now it can be left in place or be used to lower the Atlas on to a flat bed trailer. I see this as a phase 2, since we need to address their public safety concerns with a barrier and then such a structure is erected.  All this is “if” the museum allows/wants to let it now be safely displayed... Or we could fund repairs and a compressor. I still feel they just want it gone ASAP....
« Last Edit: 02/21/2015 05:38 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline arachnitect

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My two cents: after from begging Ottawa for time, the highest priority is to find a stretch frame or figure out how to fabricate one. If the rocket is stable and (theoretically) transportable, finding it a new home gets much easier.

I'd say the second priority is convincing USAF to at least let it be disassembled and crated rather than brutally shredded.

The idea that someone is gonna build an operational ICBM based on an Atlas A is bizarre; better technology has long been available to pretty much anybody.
What you are describing from what I can understand is a strongback. Now it can be left in place or be used to lower the Atlas on to a flat bed trailer. I see this as a phase 2, since we need to address their public safety concerns with a barrier and then such a structure is erected.  All this is “if” the museum allows/wants to let it now be safely displayed... Or we could fund repairs and a compressor. I still feel they just want it gone ASAP....

It's more specific than just a strongback. I don't know exactly how it works but the stretch frame puts the fuselage in tension so that it holds its shape without pressurization. There's hydraulics involved.

Offline Rocket Science

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My two cents: after from begging Ottawa for time, the highest priority is to find a stretch frame or figure out how to fabricate one. If the rocket is stable and (theoretically) transportable, finding it a new home gets much easier.

I'd say the second priority is convincing USAF to at least let it be disassembled and crated rather than brutally shredded.

The idea that someone is gonna build an operational ICBM based on an Atlas A is bizarre; better technology has long been available to pretty much anybody.
What you are describing from what I can understand is a strongback. Now it can be left in place or be used to lower the Atlas on to a flat bed trailer. I see this as a phase 2, since we need to address their public safety concerns with a barrier and then such a structure is erected.  All this is “if” the museum allows/wants to let it now be safely displayed... Or we could fund repairs and a compressor. I still feel they just want it gone ASAP....

It's more specific than just a strongback. I don't know exactly how it works but the stretch frame puts the fuselage in tension so that it holds its shape without pressurization. There's hydraulics involved.
Yes, it would have to be in tension. I see it basically as the transporter structure less the wheels.  Dismantling sounds interesting but tricky, especially with 40 plus years of corrosion... It might be safer to leave it intact.... If there is an available original transporter that we could borrow that is still roadworthy, that might be an option. .... Let’s all keep brainstorming and not rule out anything... :)
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there are existing purpose built trailers for this task that can be found

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36772.msg1332515#msg1332515
« Last Edit: 02/21/2015 06:29 PM by Jim »

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« Last Edit: 02/21/2015 07:14 PM by Rocket Science »
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Email written in response to ULA asking about our efforts. Tory Bruno is aware of our movement to save the vehicle.


Hi,

Glad he passed on the word to you!

We don't want to save just a piece, we want to save the whole thing!

Long story short... There is an Atlas-A rocket built in 1956, the oldest intact Atlas in the world and the last of the prototypes on display in front of a museum in Canada that has closed down. Being a pressure stabilized design, these early Atlases needed a source of gas pressure to keep them form collapsing. This one in Canada is connected to a compressor and now that the museum it has been standing just fine in front of since 1972 is closed, they don't want to bother with running the compressor and maintaining the display. Therefore they have decided to demolish the missile. The USAF museum owns the missile, and has loaned it to Canada all these years, but they don't want to bring the missile back to Dayton because of money and more particularly time, since the Canadians want it gone sooner than later.

Now I'm working currently with the Vandenberg AFB space historical museum to determine the viability of bringing it there as I live nearby. A group of space enthusiasts and historical preservationists is beginning to organize to try and save the missile from imminent destruction by raising funds to convince the Canadians to not destroy it immediately before the logistics of saving it can be arranged.

Once we stave of the immediate demolition, and a proper display site is determined (it need not be Vandenberg, there are many potential sites that might want it) the real hard work begins. We would like to tap ULA's expertise and equipment in working with pressure stabilized Atlas vehicles. The main challenge is transportation and the specialized trailer required to maintain the integrity of the vehicle. Any physical, technical and financial help that the Atlas professionals of ULA could offer would be greatly appreciated to save this one of a kind artifact of space and technical history.

I would not be surprised if there are some "graybeards" in ULA who would not mind the chance to get their hands on an old school Atlas again, and their help in preserving this one of a kind vehicle would be invaluable and truly appreciated.

I will pass on more information on the effort to stave off demolition in Canada as it arises, Thank you for your attention and support


Derrick Stamos

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Once again, if you need a place to store this indefinitely in a place that is bone dry and remote, I have 100 acres of desert land, with electricity, staff to watch it, appropriate zoning, etc.


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Some people may not frequent the Historical section on NSF, is there any way we can have an ad of sorts with a link for donations on our home page? :)
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I have not receive any information on how to contact the USAF. They are the key to saving the Atlas.

Does anyone have contact information?

Seperate issue, do we all think that we want it saved as built and not adapted?

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I have not receive any information on how to contact the USAF. They are the key to saving the Atlas.

Does anyone have contact information?

Seperate issue, do we all think that we want it saved as built and not adapted?

In terms of contacting the USAF http://www.afpaa.af.mil/ has general contact info, but I think a better approach might be to try getting in touch more directly with the right people.

USAF museum is one avenue, I'm sure they will be involved in any effort.

Another option might be USSTRATCOM. If anybody at USAF has an interest in saving the Atlas they're probably there. If nothing else, USSTRATCOM might be able to help waive the excessive disposal requirements so components of the missile can be saved if outright rescue fails. Contact info here:
http://www.stratcom.mil/contact/

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Thanks!

Waiting on Discovery Park of America as they have already started a project to save the Atlas.

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Here is the Discovery Park reply:

Hi Charley,

As Mary Nita stated in her email response, I am the one from Discovery Park who has been in contact about the Atlas rocket. It was slated for disposal within the next few weeks, but we have been in discussions with the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the National Museum of the US Air Force regarding the Atlas. The Canada Science and Technology museum is taking down the rocket next week and storing it. Since they heard of our interest, they won't be cutting it up like planned until the decision from the USAF is made (but I don't think they plan on waiting very long). We are currently awaiting the National Museum of the Air Force's decision on whether to allow us to transfer the rocket into our possession. If they say yes, then we will plan a trip to inspect the rocket's condition. The condition, along with final costs, will determine whether we are able to take the rocket.

That is where we currently stand with everything. Can you tell me more about the group that you referred to?

Thanks,
Jennifer 

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I replied to Jennifer about the interest here to help. She should know tomorrow if they Air Force Museum will give them the go ahead.

Just received this from her:

Charley,

This is amazing that so many people have stood up to help save the Atlas. I can see that you all have really been hard at work.

We were forwarded information from the Smithsonian regarding this issue because they thought we might be a potential new home for it. We immediately contacted the powers that be to halt the disposal. Since this item is the property of the National Museum of the US Air Force, the decision of whether to save and re-home this item rests with them. Their Collections Committee is meeting today to discuss our proposal and we will find out soon what they decide. Since the National Museum of the USAF was just here not too long ago to assess our facility for certification to receive items from their organization (which we were approved for), I don't imagine that they would say anything other than yes. If we receive their approval, the only issues we will then face will be, as you have said, transportation, stabilization, restoration, etc. We were contacted by a shipper out of Ottawa that specializes in rockets and other space vehicles, but we don't yet know how much something like that might cost. We are a large facility, but we still have a budget to maintain.

Discovery Park is doing its best to try to save the Atlas. As I said, once approval is granted, cost and time are the main obstacles to get over. We know that the Atlas would be prominently displayed at our facility for all of our guests to see, and that it will be something extraordinary for them to experience. Our main mission is to bring amazing experiences that one might only find in a big city to rural Tennessee for those (especially children) who may not have ever gotten the chance to see items like the Atlas up close. We want to inspire, education, and entertain our visitors. Hopefully, you will see our facility as a worthy home for the Atlas :)

I will let you know what the decision from the USAF is (I'm assuming I will hear tomorrow). We would greatly appreciate any help figuring out the rest if you are willing. I truly hope that the Atlas gets a happy ending.

Jennifer

Offline Rocket Science

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Great to see the word getting out and around! :)
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Offline collectSPACE

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The Atlas has been taken down, CTV Ottawa reports:
http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/atlas-rocket-at-science-and-technology-museum-dismantled-1.2253096

Crews loaded the 59-year-old rocket onto a large flatbed truck [Wednesday] for its final descent to a storage facility. Once there it will be permanently dismantled as per the instructions from its owner, the United States Air Force.

"Their instruction is that it be cut up into very small pieces that can't be put back together because it had military applications in the past, I presume," says Museum spokesperson Olivier Bouffard.

Online mtakala24

That might have been written days ago. Lets hope it was transported "safely".

edit: Now to think of it, that kind of transporter would have been ordered+scheduled days if not weeks ago.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2015 10:55 PM by mtakala24 »

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I past this along to Jennifer at Discovery Park that was also trying to save the missile.

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Kudos to the crew that took the care to bring her down. If it wasn't going to be saved they could have brought in one of these... :(
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posted the Kick to the Space Hipsters board on FB and on my own wall as well.

I do agree with the feedback that some concrete discussion of what the money will be used for might help...
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« Last Edit: 02/26/2015 03:50 AM by John-H »

Offline Helodriver

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Facebook photos of the rocked being taken down. They might store it until they find it a home.

https://www.facebook.com/LostOttawa/photos/a.380380215394542.81184.380334048732492/877938468972045/?type=1&theater

https://www.facebook.com/LostOttawa/photos/a.380380215394542.81184.380334048732492/877938475638711/?type=1&permPage=1

John


Lets just hope they keep it pressurized wherever its going to be stored. The Canadian Museum has not been forthcoming with the conditions of storage. It would be good of those mounts are also saved, being custom made for the display.

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Getting the USAF approval for final disposition (status change) is going to be key and the interested parties should be made aware. Then the Ottawa museum will be cleared of any responsibility and liability.
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Video of them dropping lowering it (From the facebook links):
http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/atlas-rocket-at-science-and-technology-museum-dismantled-1.2253096

(One nit, they showed a Titan I pad failure during the video, that is annoying, but other than that, it was balanced)
« Last Edit: 02/26/2015 04:01 PM by kevin-rf »
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Getting the USAF approval for final disposition (status change) is going to be key and the interested parties should be made aware. Then the Ottawa museum will be cleared of any responsibility and liability.

where is Bezo's when you need him?
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Offline Rocket Science

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"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Is it me, or does the rocket look much larger than the trailer?
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As of Saturday, the rocket is still in one piece, sort of. It is crumpled quite a bit around the nose, and is stored outside behind a building.

John

Offline Helodriver

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Just as I feared all along. They've made zero provisions for actually saving it.

Criminal mistreatment of history. They should feel ashamed of themselves as a museum.

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That's criminal, they should never be allowed another historic artifact from anyone ever again.
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If unguarded, scavenger/scrappers will be at it in no time.

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« Last Edit: 02/28/2015 09:51 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Unbelievable...
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The skin is so thin it can be bent, or straightened, by hand. Everything else is there.

It doesn't look as if it ever had a centre engine.

John

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The A models did not have the center engine. They where prototypes to prove the concept. The B models where to prove the stage and a half concept.

That is why this rocket was so rare and special.
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If sealed and pumped back up, would it re-inflate?  This is sad.

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The A models did not have the center engine. They where prototypes to prove the concept. The B models where to prove the stage and a half concept.

That is why this rocket was so rare and special.

It looks as if there was an empty space there. I can see an amazing amount of wiring, all hand tied into bundles.

John

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If sealed and pumped back up, would it re-inflate?  This is sad.
If placed in a jig to provide support and tension while hydraulic pressure inside inside might work. There is now damage to the feed lines as well...
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Offline Rocket Science

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What’s the truth about this museum? I get two stories: one closed for renovations for two years another is permanently closed....
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Some of the news reporting creates the impression that the museum expects the public to accept that it is only natural for an artifact displayed outdoors to eventually rust away. That seems unreasonable. Surely there are practical methods of preservation to protect against corrosion and the effects of weather. Is preservation not among the standard functions of a museum?

This incident raises a few questions:

1. Did the USAF set terms and conditions for the loan of the artifact, that included the requirement that it be preserved?

2. Did the standard of preservation specify that it be suitably protected against corrosion and the effects of weather?

3. Did the USAF periodically inspect the artifact to verify compliance?

There appears to be a lack of accountability.

The museum in question is owned by the Government of Canada. It is a federal Crown Corporation:

http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1373303400693/1373303519489

Quote from the above page:

"The Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation is responsible for preserving and protecting Canada's scientific and technological heritage and for promoting and sharing knowledge about that heritage. The Corporation operates the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Agriculture Museum. The museums tell the stories of Canadian ingenuity and achievement in science and technology and demonstrate how these accomplishments have contributed to building our country."

Given that mandate, the present lack of interest in a U.S. artifact is understandable. The USAF's lack of interest, less so.

Space Enthusiast

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Some of the missile in the USAF Space museum can be in quite a bad state.  The USAF does not always have the funds to maintain and inspect their artifacts.  This is part of the reason Dayton is moving their exhibits indoors.

yes, the USAF sets standards, as do all the services.

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No professional curator would allow an artifact to meet this fate. If as they say it needed to come down, it did not happen overnight and there would be ample time to find a new home. Since they are government owned, its citizens have a right to see the documented proof that they did so... The question could be made through the office of the local MP if they don’t cooperate.
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Online John-H

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What’s the truth about this museum? I get two stories: one closed for renovations for two years another is permanently closed....


This is the main campus of the Science and Technology museum and has been there since the 1960's. Since then they have acquired an Agricultural museum and an Aviation museum, and the Aviation museum in particular has large new buildings, a more focused mandate and has attracted much of the money and management interest. The original building is also rather ordinary and much of their energy has been taken up with making proposals for a new one - thus the old one has been so neglected that the roof leaks and the insulation is mouldy and has been declared a hazard. The building has been closed and they have received $80 million to rebuild it. It is hoped to reopen in two years.

John

Offline Antilope7724

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It's a crime that this historic artifact was ruined by neglect and mishandeling.

I'm amazed at how the stainless steel still gleams like it was brand new even after 40 years outside in the harsh environment.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2015 03:49 PM by Antilope7724 »

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The actions of this museum are so illogical that it killed Spock.
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Offline Rocket Science

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What’s the truth about this museum? I get two stories: one closed for renovations for two years another is permanently closed....


This is the main campus of the Science and Technology museum and has been there since the 1960's. Since then they have acquired an Agricultural museum and an Aviation museum, and the Aviation museum in particular has large new buildings, a more focused mandate and has attracted much of the money and management interest. The original building is also rather ordinary and much of their energy has been taken up with making proposals for a new one - thus the old one has been so neglected that the roof leaks and the insulation is mouldy and has been declared a hazard. The building has been closed and they have received $80 million to rebuild it. It is hoped to reopen in two years.

John
Thanks John!
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Online rayleighscatter

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No professional curator would allow an artifact to meet this fate.
It's not uncommon at all. Huntsville has a bunch of rockets rotting away in the woods, KSC has had rockets fall over several times in hurricanes, Enterprise was damaged in New York, the Saturn V at JSC is so deteriorated that it couldn't be moved.

Offline Rocket Science

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No professional curator would allow an artifact to meet this fate.
It's not uncommon at all. Huntsville has a bunch of rockets rotting away in the woods, KSC has had rockets fall over several times in hurricanes, Enterprise was damaged in New York, the Saturn V at JSC is so deteriorated that it couldn't be moved.
You forgot the Saturn V that sat in the VAB parking lot for some 30 years, allowed to corrode and packed full of nests and bird $hit...
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Offline Helodriver

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No professional curator would allow an artifact to meet this fate.
It's not uncommon at all. Huntsville has a bunch of rockets rotting away in the woods, KSC has had rockets fall over several times in hurricanes, Enterprise was damaged in New York, the Saturn V at JSC is so deteriorated that it couldn't be moved.
You forgot the Saturn V that sat in the VAB parking lot for some 30 years, allowed to corrode and packed full of nests and bird $hit...

Yes, true, but in the end they just didn't say F*{K it and push them off a truck behind a building. Those rockets were all preserved.

Online rayleighscatter

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Yes, true, but in the end they just didn't say F*{K it and push them off a truck behind a building. Those rockets were all preserved.
No they weren't.

http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19750832000


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You forgot the Saturn V that sat in the VAB parking lot for some 30 years, allowed to corrode and packed full of nests and bird $hit...

Closer to 20, actually (1975-1995)

Offline Rocket Science

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You forgot the Saturn V that sat in the VAB parking lot for some 30 years, allowed to corrode and packed full of nests and bird $hit...

Closer to 20, actually (1975-1995)
Inflation... ;D
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Offline Prober

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As of Saturday, the rocket is still in one piece, sort of. It is crumpled quite a bit around the nose, and is stored outside behind a building.

John

thought things were ok when it was put on the trailer, but these pics sicken me >:(

and this: " Crews loaded the 59-year-old rocket onto a large flatbed truck [Wednesday] for its final descent to a storage facility. Once there it will be permanently dismantled as per the instructions from its owner, the United States Air Force."

On the grounds some "storage facility".
« Last Edit: 03/02/2015 07:41 PM by Prober »
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Offline Blackstar

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Yes, true, but in the end they just didn't say F*{K it and push them off a truck behind a building. Those rockets were all preserved.
No they weren't.

http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19750832000

There are lots of rockets and missiles in lots of locations, and their conditions vary, of course. Usually museums have a collection strategy that guides their priorities. Generally speaking, it goes something like this:

-this museum collects artifacts that are in specific areas
-the museum seeks to collect artifacts in its areas based upon their historical basis. For instance, did the artifact itself do something historically significant? Is it the only one of its kind? Is it in some other way unique? Are there lots of others like it in lots of other museums?
-how big is it? Will it fit in the existing museum space?
-how much does it cost to preserve it? How much will it cost to restore it?

So the fact that one missile, like the one linked above, is sitting outside, not restored, is not proof of anything. Are there other similar missiles preserved? Is this part of their core collection? Is it unique? All those factors are important.

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Yes, true, but in the end they just didn't say F*{K it and push them off a truck behind a building. Those rockets were all preserved.
No they weren't.

http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19750832000

There are lots of rockets and missiles in lots of locations, and their conditions vary, of course. Usually museums have a collection strategy that guides their priorities. Generally speaking, it goes something like this:

-this museum collects artifacts that are in specific areas
-the museum seeks to collect artifacts in its areas based upon their historical basis. For instance, did the artifact itself do something historically significant? Is it the only one of its kind? Is it in some other way unique? Are there lots of others like it in lots of other museums?
-how big is it? Will it fit in the existing museum space?
-how much does it cost to preserve it? How much will it cost to restore it?

So the fact that one missile, like the one linked above, is sitting outside, not restored, is not proof of anything. Are there other similar missiles preserved? Is this part of their core collection? Is it unique? All those factors are important.
Right, which gets back to my earlier point about how its not uncommon for museums to treat artifacts like that. Whether its the Smithsonian and US Space and Rocket Center dumping a Titan in the woods, or the Canadian Science and Technology Museum and the USAF Museum turning an Atlas rocket into soda cans.

Offline Rocket Science

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Ok so you made your point (rayleighscatter) whatever it was...  If you do not want to save a unique artifact then don’t donate or make institutions aware of the Atlas. To all others, if you do, please donate some money, time or effort...
Thank You! :)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/287720970/save-the-atlas
« Last Edit: 03/03/2015 03:44 PM by Rocket Science »
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Online Kansan52

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Just received from Jennifer"

"Charley,

The US Air Force is still in discussion regarding the Atlas. They are on the fence about whether to even consider lending it to another facility or continuing on its disposal course. They did in fact want the rocket back for themselves, but believed that the condition could not be stabilized/restored. This is why it was marked for disposal, because they believed that it could not be saved, not because they just did not want it. We have sent them another proposal, that if we are willing to send a spacecraft restoration expert out to inspect the condition and give their opinion on whether it can be saved or if the damage is irreparable. We are asking that if we are willing to do this and can handle the cost, would the US Air Force consider lending us the rocket then.

I'll keep you updated.

Jennifer "

Offline Rocket Science

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Just received from Jennifer"

"Charley,

The US Air Force is still in discussion regarding the Atlas. They are on the fence about whether to even consider lending it to another facility or continuing on its disposal course. They did in fact want the rocket back for themselves, but believed that the condition could not be stabilized/restored. This is why it was marked for disposal, because they believed that it could not be saved, not because they just did not want it. We have sent them another proposal, that if we are willing to send a spacecraft restoration expert out to inspect the condition and give their opinion on whether it can be saved or if the damage is irreparable. We are asking that if we are willing to do this and can handle the cost, would the US Air Force consider lending us the rocket then.

I'll keep you updated.

Jennifer "
Sounds promising Charley, thank you for your effort thus far. Considering what has been done to her, she appears to be holding up quite well. :)
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 08:24 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Looks like I am the first backer of this project ;) I also contacted http://www.capemuseum.org/index.html to see if they have any ideas on how to help.
Did anyone from the Cape ever get back to you and if they would like her for display?
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 08:37 PM by Rocket Science »
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Online John-H

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Just received from Jennifer"

"Charley,

The US Air Force is still in discussion regarding the Atlas. They are on the fence about whether to even consider lending it to another facility or continuing on its disposal course. They did in fact want the rocket back for themselves, but believed that the condition could not be stabilized/restored. This is why it was marked for disposal, because they believed that it could not be saved, not because they just did not want it. We have sent them another proposal, that if we are willing to send a spacecraft restoration expert out to inspect the condition and give their opinion on whether it can be saved or if the damage is irreparable. We are asking that if we are willing to do this and can handle the cost, would the US Air Force consider lending us the rocket then.

I'll keep you updated.

Jennifer "
Sounds promising Charley, thank you for your effort thus far. Considering what has been done to her, she appears to be holding up quite well. :)
- shes
As of today (Saturday) the rocket is under a tarpaulin and there is a guard nearby  -  a woman said she was supposed to watch it, but she didn't know what plans they had for it.

Here is my own completely non expert opinion on the state of the rocket. The nose cone is a solid chunk of metal and is in beautiful shape, but it appears to be very heavy and the shell cannot support its weight when it is horizontal. The front of the tank has been pulled down and crumpled by the weight of the nose, but it is a single very thin steel plate, and could be straightened with a block and a plastic hammer. The lower body and skirt seem to be all there, as are the engines, and the only rust seems to be the bottom outside of the engine bells. The inside of the base has some dirt, but there is a lot of interesting plumbing and wiring.

It would be an interesting display, especially if you could look inside the base.

John

Offline robertross

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As of Saturday, the rocket is still in one piece, sort of. It is crumpled quite a bit around the nose, and is stored outside behind a building.

John

Just found this thread today.

I remember so well the many times I had driven by the museum when I lived in Ottawa as a kid/teenager, had visited the museum, and often looked in awe at that rocket. Now I can barely stand seeing her crumpled nose.

I am nothing short of disgusted at the treatment of a piece of history like this. Shameful.

I need to be alone. Where's that scotch...
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I've been kicking around an idea that would require someone near where the Atlas lays to provide a photographic survey.

If someone would do it, I would ask the Space Works for a restoration quote based on the photos.

It may be a stupid idea since the Air Force hasn't OKed anyone permission to restore but if it is too badly worn or damaged, this might be a way to know.

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Well, my photo idea seems unneeded after this update:

"Atlas Update:

There is another museum interested in the rocket, NASA Glenn. If they decide they want it, then they get priority over us since they are a government facility. If they decide that they do not want it, then we will be given a chance to perform a site visit. If it reaches this point, our CEO has approved for Joe Sembrat (senior conservator with Conservation Solutions Inc. in Ottawa) to inspect the rocket and perform a condition assessment for us. NASA Glenn will be performing their site visit in a few weeks.

Jennifer"

Offline Antilope7724

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Well, even in its current condition, the Atlas 5A is still in better shape than the WRESAT Redstone.  :o

Offline edkyle99

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I suppose we'll never know why NASA Glenn didn't get to inspect this Atlas before it was yanked down and bent.   

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Rocket Science

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I suppose we'll never know why NASA Glenn didn't get to inspect this Atlas before it was yanked down and bent.   

 - Ed Kyle
My theory is that they want to initiate construction on that land as the spring begins, hence the rush. We’ll see if it proves true...
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Offline Blackstar

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I suppose we'll never know why NASA Glenn didn't get to inspect this Atlas before it was yanked down and bent.   

 - Ed Kyle
My theory is that they want to initiate construction on that land as the spring begins, hence the rush. We’ll see if it proves true...

My theory is that this had to do with their insurance company telling them they had a liability they had to deal with. "Fix it and make it safe or we won't insure it. Or tear it down. Your choice."

Online Kansan52

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I contacted them about us raising money to save the Atlas; they did not ask if the could have the money to restore the missile and keep it there.

IMHO, they had made a tough decision and did not want to open old wounds, so to speak.

Offline Blackstar

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I contacted them about us raising money to save the Atlas; they did not ask if the could have the money to restore the missile and keep it there.

IMHO, they had made a tough decision and did not want to open old wounds, so to speak.

Yeah, and that's a valuable point. We on the outside don't know what factors went into their decision-making. But we also don't know what their process is. They might have a board meeting twice a year, and at the last board meeting they decided to get rid of the Atlas. The next meeting might be five months away and they have no procedure for calling an earlier meeting (because maybe the members are all volunteers who agree to meet only twice a year). So unless somebody says "I'll give you a million dollars to reverse the decision," they don't want to deal with it. The decision was made, they have many other things to deal with, and that's that.

Offline Rocket Science

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I'm going to say this again for the last time... If the public was at risk a safety fence would have been put up immediately...
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Offline Blackstar

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I'm going to say this again for the last time... If the public was at risk a safety fence would have been put up immediately...

Yeah, and that's an overly simplistic way to look at it. If their insurance company said "this thing is dangerous and if you don't do something about it by X date we will not insure you" then that doesn't require them to immediately erect a fence. It does require them to decide to either put up a fence by that date, risk going without insurance, or tear it down. Just because they took it down instead of erecting a fence doesn't prove it was not risky.

Offline robertross

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I'm going to say this again for the last time... If the public was at risk a safety fence would have been put up immediately...

Yeah, and that's an overly simplistic way to look at it. If their insurance company said "this thing is dangerous and if you don't do something about it by X date we will not insure you" then that doesn't require them to immediately erect a fence. It does require them to decide to either put up a fence by that date, risk going without insurance, or tear it down. Just because they took it down instead of erecting a fence doesn't prove it was not risky.


Our governments in Canada act no different that in the USA: They drag their feet and then go and do something completely extreme, and we just look back and ask: why?

In the end it doesn't matter I suppose - the damage is done.
Had they cared one iota, this would have been handled differently (although as I think about it: probably with the same result).
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Offline Dalhousie

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Well, even in its current condition, the Atlas 5A is still in better shape than the WRESAT Redstone.  :o

AT least that flew, which is why it's in bad shape.
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Offline Ronpur50

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Does anyone know what ended up happening to this Atlas?  I never heard it got moved so I assume it was scrapped.

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I'm in the same boat as you.

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