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.

Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) parts behind Marshall Space Flight
	Center (MSFC) Building 4205, including aft skirt, forward skirt,
	frustrum, and nose cap

Imagery courtesy of Google Maps.

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.

Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) parts behind Marshall Space Flight
	Center (MSFC) Building 4205, including aft skirt, forward skirt,
	frustrum, and nose cap

Imagery courtesy of Google Maps.

Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) parts behind Marshall Space Flight
	Center (MSFC) Building 4205, including aft skirt, forward skirt,
	frustrum, and nose cap

Imagery courtesy of Google Maps.

Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) parts behind Marshall Space Flight
	Center (MSFC) Building 4205, including aft skirt, forward skirt,
	frustrum, and nose cap

Imagery courtesy of Google Maps.

Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) parts behind Marshall Space Flight
	Center (MSFC) Building 4205, including aft skirt, forward skirt,
	frustrum, and nose cap

Imagery courtesy of Google Maps.