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Redstone Aft Unit

The Redstone aft unit is currently stored in the East Campus building, next to the tail unit.

The aft unit's name is somewhat misleading, as it is situated forward of the center and tail units; it's actually in the forward half of the missile. The name "aft unit" comes from the fact that, after the powered portion of the flight, explosive screws fire and sever the aft unit and warhead section from the propellant tanks, engine, and fins; the aft unit and warhead section then continue on to the target, at which time the aft unit is indeed in the aft of the remaining portion of the missile.

The aft unit was not used when the museum's Redstone was displayed as a Mercury-Redstone at the former Michigan Space & Science Center; it appears that the aft unit sat outside for all those years as the old MSSC (the old MSSC apparently received the Redstone in 1977), as is in relatively poor condition, with a lot of rust and corrosion.

By special permission of the Senior Conservator, I was able to photograph the top and interior of the tail unit.

The Kansas Cosmosphere has a fully-retored Redstone aft unit/warhead section on display.

 
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