Southwest Retort, Volume 13, Number 6, February 1961 Page: 20
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originally was developed for the Air Force
zero-launch (ZEL) program. The motor
has demonstrated 100' reliability in over
20 piloted ZEL launchings. Its ability to
perform under extreme environmental
conditions and throughout a temperature
range of - 70 to 1750 F. was established
in numerous static test firings at Rocket-
dyne's McGregor plant.
An extensive program of new construc-
tion and building modification currently
is under way at Rocketdyne's 12,000-acre
McGregor plant. Top project in the pro-
gram is an ultra-modern Production De-
velopment Laboratory, which is due for
completion late in November. Other work
includes considerable rehabilitation work
on the Propellant Research Lab, a new
Shipping facility, and a new Engineering
Instrumentation Lab on which is already
under way. The 10,000-square-foot Pro-
duction Development Lab is being pro-
vided by modification of an existing
building. The facility will be used for
quality control support of the plant's
Research and Development Hardware.
In addition to construction work, mod-
ern specialized equipment is being install-
ed in the lab. This includes equipment for
wet chemical analysis of metals, plastics,
and ceramics; a radiological lab; a physical
test area for tensile, impact, and hardness
testing; a metallurgy laboratory; and a
16 by 24-foot X-ray laboratory. The ex-
tensive remodeling work being done in
the Propellant Research Lab includes new
safety devices, improved blowout doors
and walls, additional provisions for remote
operations, and new barricades. This work
is scheduled for completion in early Jan-
uary. In addition to the new construction
work, a number of older buildings are
being torn down and salvaged. Included
among these are the cafeteria and main
barracks in the Administration area, which
have seen little use since deactivation of
Inspection and Testing Engineers
NEW ORLEANS HOUSTON
BATON ROUGE CORPUS CHRISTI
the plant after World War II.
C. F. DOUGHERTY presented a paper
before the Southeastern Regional meeting
of the American Chemical Society on
November 3. The paper was co-authored
by W. J. MUNDY. Dougherty predicted
that greater isolation of personnel and
operations, processing of small quantities,
and increased automation were the long-
range changes for the manufacturing of
increasingly powerful solid rockets of the
future. He traced the history of solid
propellant development, pointing out the
trend to increased isolation as materials
have become more powerful.
Limiting of buildings to single opera-
tions, use of remote-controlled equipment,
and personnel protection behind concrete
walls and earthen bunkers have been the
primary safety precautions taken in recent
years. The trend to more powerful and
reactive ingredients also will lead to new
processing techniques. Continuous proces-
sing such as by the Quickmix method
under development by Rocketdyne, will
be employed more in future operations.
Electronic data equipment will be tied to
continuous processing to provide the more
critical need for precise flow control and
quality of finished propellant. Closed-
circuit television and remote handling
equipment will play an increasingly im-
portant role on future propellant research
and manufacture. The need for more iso-
lation may, however, be offset to a limited
extent by desensitization of ingredients.
Encapsulation-the coating of highly re-
active materials-is a current area of
Rocketdyne research that holds promise
for future applications.
A Rocketdyne Redstone engine power-
ed the first successful launch of an Amer-
ican high-thrust ballistic missile in 1953.
A Rocketdyne Atlas engine will also pro-
vide the power for the first manned
orbital space flight in the free world.
Versatility and reliability are key words
that describe the powerful M-34 solid
propellant boosters in production at Rock-
etdyne's McGregor plant. Versatility of
the 130,000-pound thrust units is indi-
cated in the fact that they are now being
used to launch the KD2U target drone.
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American Chemical Society. Dallas/Fort Worth Section. Southwest Retort, Volume 13, Number 6, February 1961, periodical, February 1961; [Dallas, Texas]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc111077/m1/20/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .