Author Topic: Save Atlas 5A (56-6742) rocket from being scrapped - Campaign and Fundraiser  (Read 46474 times)

Offline 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

Offline 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)

Offline 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

Offline 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

Offline 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.

Online 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"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

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 »

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