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Rocket Engines

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 1999 | DAVID COLKER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rocket engineer Arnie Sodergren walked up a driveway strewn with weeds and through the open door of a dilapidated, concrete building on a rocky hillside. Except for the sound of his feet shuffling through broken ceiling tiles and other rubble on the floor, all was quiet. He stopped in the middle of a bare room. "Wernher von Braun used to stand where I am standing now," said Sodergren, 62.
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NEWS
July 18, 1999 | BARRY STAVRO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bud Benner, 74, had worked on tough jobs before the Apollo moon project, helping to design the X-15 rocket plane that flew at six times the speed of sound. But the race to the moon was at another level of human endeavor. Assistant chief engineer at North American Aviation in Downey, Benner was grappling with one of the smallest pieces of the Apollo project and perhaps the most complex: the command module.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 1998 | KATE FOLMAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Things looked a little different the first time John Glenn soared into orbit. Thirty-six years ago, Rocketdyne engineers huddled in cafeterias and auditoriums to peer at black-and-white TVs. Astronaut Glenn was a spry redhead. Young and serious in a dark suit, mechanical engineer Vince Wheelock had said a silent prayer, hoping he and his crew hadn't made any mistakes in assembling the Atlas engines that would power Glenn's historic orbit around the earth.
BUSINESS
October 28, 1998 | ELIZABETH DOUGLASS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Boeing has fallen seven months behind schedule and is facing mounting costs on its revolutionary engine for the X-33 rocket plane, an experimental vehicle at the heart of NASA's effort to develop a low-cost reusable space launcher, the government disclosed Tuesday. The setback was caused by technical difficulties in bonding key high-temperature engine parts at Boeing's Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park, where the X-33's novel linear aerospike engine is being built.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 1998 | KATE FOLMAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A shift in federal policy could doom plans for a health study of residents near Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory, say members of a citizens' advisory panel. As a second health study of Rocketdyne workers draws to a close, the panel appointed to oversee it contends funding for a recommended community study is drying up. Federal Department of Energy funding for the UCLA study of worker chemical exposures--a follow-up to last year's study of radiation effects--will end Sept.
NEWS
July 4, 1997 | CAROL J. WILLIAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Russia's troubled Mir space station suffered another malfunction Thursday that disrupted power to its navigation system for the second time since the complex was plunged into crisis June 25 by the worst accident in its 11-year history. Power to the gyroscopes--which keep the space station oriented toward the sun so its solar panels can collect energy--was suddenly shut off, Russian and U.S. space agency officials reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1997 | MACK REED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Girding for a court fight against a wing of aerospace giant Boeing, attorneys for nearly 100 neighbors of the Rocketdyne division's Santa Susana Field Laboratory plan to discuss their legal strategy tonight in Simi Valley. The meeting on the neighbors' lawsuit is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center, 5005 Los Angeles Ave. Ten neighbors sued Boeing North American Inc. in March, alleging that decades of nuclear and chemical research at the mountaintop Rocketdyne complex near Simi Valley poisoned their land and water and caused them to contract cancer.
NEWS
February 12, 1996 | MACK REED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
White-hot acetylene torches bite into the steel bones of the abandoned hulk known as Vertical Test Stand-1, cutting apart the rusted cradle of American rocketry. Rocketdyne is demolishing this relic of the Cold War and the space race. Not because it cares little for history, but because it needs to save money. U.S. scientists of the 1950s and '60s labored feverishly here at Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory, testing prototype rocket engines that they prayed could beat the Soviets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1995 | KIM KOWSKY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Employees of Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory are unaccustomed to seeing a bower of roses and a five-piece rock band where they test-fire the rocket engines that power the space shuttle. But they are not accustomed to having weddings there either. On Friday, quality assurance engineer Deborah (Debbie) Peterson and engineering specialist Joseph (Joe) Koncel exchanged vows just above the flame bucket on the grill of a steel testing tower known familiarly as "Alfa 3."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1995 | KIM KOWSKY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Quality assurance engineer Debbie Peterson and engineering specialist Joe Koncel exchanged wedding vows Friday just above the flame bucket on the grill of a steel testing tower known familiarly as "Alpha 3" in a sparsely inhabited canyon of the Santa Susana Mountains between Chatsworth and Simi Valley.
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