Jim Scott

These special cars can still be seen coming into
Vandenberg AFB near Lompoc, CA. They are brought in
by the Union Pacific (old Southern Pacific) and
unloaded on North Base at a special unloading station.
Normally see one or two in there every month.

Jim Scott
--- Ray Breyer <rbreyer@...> wrote:
OK, it seems we've established that these cars were
used before and during
WWII to provide the Navy with helium for their
blimps, and after the war for
various "rocket science" applications. Does anyone
know where these cars
were loaded at? I've got a Howard Ameling photo
from 1953, showing one of
these cars in Bloomington, Illinois (looks to be
heading Eastbound, but I
haven't positively identified the track it's on to
be sure).

I know that helium is a relatively inexpensive
secondary product when
extracting natural gas. Did these cars regularly
venture into the NG fields
of Illinois and Indiana, or is the photographing of
this car a fluke? (like
the SP stock car it's coupled to!)

Ray Breyer

-----Original Message-----
From: jlawrencelee@...
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2003 11:30 AM
To: STMFC@...

NASA's Stennis Space Center in, Louisiana does
rocket engine testing,
so they probably get them as well.
I'd forgotten about the use of helium to purge
rocket fuel and oxidizer
tanks. This makes it possible that NASA's Marshall
Center in Huntsville,
AL, got, and still may get, some, too, as it also
tests rocket engines.
Between about 1946 and the formation of NASA in
1958, von Braun led rocket
and missile development at the Army's Redstone
Arsenal. A portion of this
went to NASA, but RA is still active as well. Both
the Redstone and
Marshall operations preceeded the Stennis Center.

Larry Lee
Auburn, AL

[Non-text portions of this message have been

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