National Geographic : 1957 Apr
Newman Bumstead 574 Aerojet-General + Navy Men in Plastic Suits Fuel Rockets in a Launching Tower Fort Churchill's 120-foot tower suggests a giant oilcan (opposite). This crew in the base of the tower prepares a rocket for take-off. Working atop metal plat forms spaced at eight-foot intervals, the men pump nitric acid into the rocket's tanks. Helmets and suits protect against the corrosive fluid. 4-P . H. Wyckoff (foreground), chief Air Force scientist at Fort Churchill, watches the fueling crew on his television screen in a blockhouse. During firing, all per sonnel must take cover in this shelter. -A Navy Aerobee-Hi blasts off from the tower. Top fins belong to rocket itself; lower set is attached to a booster that propels the missile for the first 2/ sec onds, then drops away. Smoke from the booster pours from cracks in the stack and blast doors at the base. Flying frag ments are insulation from doors.