Five Marshall Sites Designated
as National Historic Landmarks
(The information below was compiled from articles published
in the Marshall Star on January 22, 1986, and on July 15, 1987)
The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center announced on January 22,
1986, that the U. S. Department of the Interior's National Park
Service had designated four Marshall Center facilities as National
Historic Landmarks. On July 15, 1987, a fifth designation was
The first four facilities are the Redstone Test Stand, Propulsion
and Structural Test Facility, Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand, and
Neutral Buoyancy Simulator. The Saturn V on display at the United
States Space and Rocket Center represents the fifth designation.
Historic Redstone Test Stand
The Redstone Test Stand was used during the 1950s in early development
of Redstone missile propulsion system. This was the test stand
where the modified Redstone missile that launched the first American
into space, Alan Shepard, was static tested as the last step before
the flight occurred.
and Structural Test Facility
The Propulsion and Structural Test Facility, developed in support
of Jupiter missile development, was modified and used for testing
during the first clustered engine stage in the American space
program- the S-IB stage of the Saturn I launch vehicle period.
It was also used as the primary test stand for the development
of the F- 1 engine, the largest liquid Rocket engine ever developed.
The F-1 generated 1.5 million pounds of thrust.
Dynamic Test Stand
The Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand was used in 1966-67 for ground
vibration testing of the Saturn V launch vehicle and the Apollo
spacecraft. Completion of this program was the final step prior
to the launch of Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission.
In 1972-73 the stand was used for tests involving the Skylab Space
Station; and in 1978-79 for ground vibration testing of the complete
Space Shuttle vehicle.
The Neutral Buoyancy Simulator provides a simulated weightless
environment needed to perform engineering tests in preparation
for space missions. The extra vehicle activity for the Skylab
rescue and Apollo Telescope Mount film retrieved was developed
in the facility.
Saturn V Display
Saturn V on display at the United States Space and Rocket Center
is the actual test rocket that was used in dynamic testing of
the Saturn facilities at Marshall. The stages of the rocket were
used to check out all the Saturn facilities at Huntsville. Although
the rocket was not intended to be flown, it was a working vehicle
that prepared the way for the Apollo expeditions to the moon.
Officials from the Department of the Interior referred to the
vehicle as "a unique engineering masterpiece that formed
the key link in the chain that enabled Americans to travel to
the moon. The success of the Saturn V made possible the success
of the American space program."
The Saturn V at the United States Space and Rocket Center was
delivered by Marshall in 1969 after all three stages were taken
from the Center's Dynamic Test Stand.
The purpose of National Historic Landmark designation is to
identify and recognize nationally significant sites. "Landmarks
are chosen after careful study by the National Park Service,"
according to officials from the Department of Interior. "They
are evaluated by the National Park System Advisory Board and designated
by the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with the Historic
Sites Act of 1935 and the National Historic Preservation Act of
Designation as a National Historic Landmark automatically places
a property in the National Register of Historic Places and extends
to it special safeguards and benefits provided by Federal law.