Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Parts Behind MSFC Building 4205
Marshall Space Flight Center Building 4205, the Propulsion Research Development Laboratory, has an impressive rocket engine display (which I understand is informally referred to as "Propulsion Parkt") in front of its main entrance. The first time I visited the display, in July 2012, the display was composed of an F-1, NERVA, and linear aerospike.
In September 2012, a joined, four-segment SRB Shuttle SRB body was acquired to augment the display. A complete SRB was formed via the addition of an aft skirt, forward skirt, frustrum, and nose cap. During a previous visit, in July 2009, I photographed some SRB parts behind Building 4205, and it is these parts which I assume were used in the production of the final display.
None of the three aft skirts behind 4205 were particularly complete, so I initially assumed that the engineers preparing the display cobbled together a complete aft skirt for display purposes (I later found out that a complete aft skirt was shipped in to complete the SRB).
Google captured aerial photography of the SRB parts behind Building 4205, which I subsequently captured in December 2012 and present here, as I expect that Google will eventually update their imagery and these views of the SRB parts would otherwise be lost.
The SRB parts were on a drive to the northeast of Building 4205. From east to west, there is a frustrum, an empty green handling fixture of some sort, a forward skirt, a nose cap, and three aft skirts. To the west of the SRB parts is a bare J-2 thrust chamber.
The incomplete nature of the aft skirts is clearly evident in Google's 45° views, and the individual components are more readily discernible. Between the west-most aft skirt and the J-2 thrust chamber is a J-2 throat support, which is installed inside the rocket engine to help support the engine. For some rocket engines (especially the F-1), the weight of the engine may be too great for the thrust chamber to support, so a throat support is employed to prevent the thrust chamber from being crushed.