Vehicle Assembly, Tower Loading

The payload is assembled onto a removable rail from the 350 tower launcher. The assembly is performed in a special building designed for handling the high explosives contained in the Nike and Black Brant rocket motors. First the dull green Nike booster is fitted onto the rail. Then the Black Brant booster motor is attached to the experimental payload on a separate integration table. The combination of the Black Brant motor plus the payload sections are gently hoisted on to the launch rail. Finally the two assemblies are fitted together to form the final launch configuration of the rocket. After assembly, the entire launch rail with the payload is towed to the launch tower. The rocket is then winched into position in the launch tower. The rocket is now about 2 days away from launch. The next test to be performed is the Vertical integration test.

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This page was last updated July 1,1997 by Bradford Benson.