Apr 12, 2010

AeroJet Everglades Facility

Posted by: Naaman 

In the 1960's the AeroJet company was considered as the possible supplier of solid-fuel rocket motors to be used as primary power plants for the Saturn I space booster. The idea, in simple terms, was to use a single, very large rocket motor in place of a number of smaller rocket motors. A complex was constructed in the Everglades to manufacture and test the rockets.

The AJ260 was the largest rocket motor ever produced and during it’s testing, created the highest decibel noise-level ever created by man. Its blast could be seen easily, 50 miles away in Miami. Despite it’s great power and sprawling manufacturing complex, the project was dropped by NASA.

Nighttime Test Fire
aj260fir

All that remains are the ruins of the manufacturing facility, and of course, the rocket, which still sits in its firing tube in the middle of a swamp where it has been waiting for 50 years. The swamp has begun to reclaim this giant complex which stretches across five miles of desolate swamp.

The main complex of huge buildings, a great find itself, is not the highlight of this location. No, the highlight is a smaller metal shack about four miles further into the swamp. Half the roof is missing and a small group of turkey vultures have made the place their home. If you walked through the building you may not even notice it was there, but underneath your feet, below a rusted metal floor is a rocket.

Placing the rocket in the tube.
the worlds largest rocket

A trip deep into the Everglades and eleven miles on a girls bicycle will prove rewarding...if you're into this sort of stuff:

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It's a long way down (YouTube)
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The Shack, which can be seen in the Nighttime Test Fire picture posted above.
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Update: July 2013.
Photo Credit: BulletFL
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18 comments:

  1. Well this was pretty epic. Some good shots, some cool stuff, and must have been quite an experience. Wish I could have been there.
    BUT WHERE ARE THE SHOTS IN THE SILOOO???????????
    YOU DIDN'T GO DOWN ON IT!!!!?!> FAAIL

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  2. I was there yesterday, this place is deathly quiet now, but still a cool piece of American history not just space program history. This is a place that brought promise of a lot of economical change to the area albeit, at an obvious cost to the environment.

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  3. It's crazy, right? Just you and the gators. Nothing else for miles.

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  4. no rockets there! is only a fuel tank ,Fail!!!

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  5. Hi! can you give me the address to some of these awesome places you went to? I really want to explore them! my email is stickman.arts@gmail.com

    thank you!

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  6. Let me knw which ones you are interested in

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  7. Is there any footage of the rocket tests available online? This is truly an amazing part of our space age history!

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  8. I have never seen any. I have seen only a few photos.

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  9. IF anyone is interested, there is a subreddit dedicated to this.

    check it out over at http://reddit.com/r/Aerojet

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  10. I visit the location just about 3-4 times week to fish. Great location to do some fishing for bass and peacock! A lot of the buildings are taking a lot of damage thanks to the smart ones that have no respect for history and mother nature. First building when you come up the road is just about in pieces looks like someone set a bomb off in it as the old bathroom has been blown to pieces. I enjoy the location very much wish there was more pictures of what it looked like before it was closed.

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    Replies
    1. Hey what's the address of it? I want to go fishing there one of these days

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  11. Yeah, the place is in really bad shape. Getting worse quickly.

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  12. Is it true the building has been knocked down and the silo completely covered with those concrete I beams? Google map pictures show a bunch of work trucks next to the building like they are getting ready to tear it down?!?! is this piece of history lost for good??????

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