Sunday, January 22, 2012

Boilerplate history


Last week, BP-12 was moved from storage in the Downey Studios buildings to its permanent display site in front of the Columbia Memorial Space Center. BP-12 is the oldest known Apollo to fly. Like BP-19, which was moved last year, BP-12 was constructed in Downey by North American Aviation (in the buildings now occupied by Downey Studios) and was used in many parachute drop tests.

According to a NASA website, "at White Sands, New Mexico, on the morning of 13 May 1964, a Little Joe II launch vehicle rammed Boilerplate (BP) 12 to an altitude of 4,700 meters, to see if the launch escape system could propel the spacecraft away from the booster after it had reached transonic speed."

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