Saturday, May 31, 2014

Retro Saturday: Space Shuttle Design

Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: wdtvlive42 YouTube channel.

This week's Retro Saturday is a 1975 industrial film by Rockwell International's Space Division about design and construction of the Space Shuttle.

Want to trace back the history of Rockwell? Check its Wikipedia page.

Willard Rockwell made his fortune by inventing a bearing system for truck axles in 1919. Decades later, its descendant Rockwell Standard acquired and merged with North American Aviation in 1967 to form North American Rockwell. A few years later in 1973, after acquiring and merging with various other companies, it became Rockwell International.

Willard Rockwell died in 1978. After the end of the Cold War, the company sold off various holdings and divisions. In late 1996, Boeing acquired the company's aerospace and defense businesses, including what had once been North American Aviation and Rocketdyne.

The Downey plant in late 2012 was demolished. The Aerospace Legacy Foundation preserves the history and legacy of the site.

An early orbiter mockup at the Rockwell Downey plant in the early 1970s. Image source: Aerospace Legacy Foundation.

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