Author Topic: Save Atlas 5A (56-6742) rocket from being scrapped - Campaign and Fundraiser  (Read 47738 times)

Offline Helodriver

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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

Offline Danderman

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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.


Offline Rocket Science

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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? :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Kansan52

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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?

Offline arachnitect

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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/

Offline Kansan52

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Thanks!

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

Offline Kansan52

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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 

Offline Kansan52

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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! :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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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 »

Offline Kansan52

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

Offline Rocket Science

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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... :(
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Lar

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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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Offline John-H

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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.

Offline Rocket Science

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

Offline kevin-rf

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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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Offline Prober

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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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