Brigham City, UT H 74 L 49
Yesterday was a long travel day for us – 200 miles. I know for a lot of people this is a drop in the bucket but for us it’s about 50 miles too far. However, I had a destination in mind and I knew we had to drive through Salt Lake City and suburbs.
Utah drivers seem to have a death wish. Then you have all the road construction (I truly don’t believe they are ever going to finish I-15 through this area). All-in-all, it was a very long day before we arrived at the Golden Spike RV Park in Brigham City.
ROCKET GARDEN, PROMONTORY, UT
This morning we drove out to the ATK Thiokol Rocket Display. ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company which manufactures rocket propulsion systems and strategic missiles in Utah’s Promontory Mountains. ATK also manufactured the solid rocket booster (SBR) for the Space Shuttle. After the SBRs were retrieved from the ocean following a launch, they were transported to ATK (formerly Thiokol) in Utah for refurbishing. I’m not sure how ATK will be contributing to the space program now that NASA is basically out of the shuttle program. But they still continue to manufacture missiles for the military.
This is definitely a secure area but they have a display of 39 rockets and rocket parts in front of their building which is open to the public. They have a really good brochure inside the front door that has a diagram of the entire display and an explanation of each one. There are also signs at each display.
One display is a Space Shuttle Booster Separation Motor which can travel through the atmosphere at 3,094 miles per hour and altitudes of 24 nautical miles. This rocket motor is 149 feet long and is the only booster capable of recovery and reuse. They are used during the first 122 seconds of the shuttle flight.
You can also see the TX-486 Patriot missile, noted as the US Army’s most advanced surface-to-surface defense system. More historic are the TX-14 Big B, known as “The Klunker” – designed in 1950 for the US Army Ballistic Missile Agency as a test vehicle for high performance propellants and insulated materials – and the TX-10, the 1950s prototype solid propellant rocket motor for the US Army’s surface-to-surface Lacrosse missile that was developed for use against tanks and bunkers.
I don’t know or understand much about rockets but I thoroughly enjoyed our stroll through the Rocket Garden. I am amazed at the minds that can develop this kind of technology.