Video of the Day: An Abandoned Rocket Factory in the Everglades
Produced by Coffee and Celluloid Productions with the Borscht Corp., Space Miami is a short documentary about an abandoned rocket factory in the Everglades. Aerojet-General, anticipating that rockets would be needed for NASA's Apollo moon missions, built the factory in 1963. Allowing the structure to spring up in their vicinity was a desperate move on the part of the townspeople, who were "looking for industry because we knew all we had was farming and that was going to be it," as one recalls in the film.
Aerojet-General built and tested its rockets in a silo 150 feet deep. It's the deepest hole ever dug in Florida, according to Space Miami.
In addition to the primary structure and the silo, Aerojet-General had to dig the largest canal found anywhere in the Everglades. The canal, which reaches the Atlantic Ocean, was required to transfer the rockets by barge. Because they were designed as solid-fuel, the rockets were so large that no other method of transportation would suffice.
In the end, the Saturn rockets that NASA used were powered by liquid fuel. Aerojet-General never signed a contract and entire factory was abandoned only six years after it was completed. It's still standing today, more than forty years later.
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