China Lake designated historical site
By Staff Reporter
Published: Wednesday, May 3, 2006 4:31 PM
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The plaque signifying China Lake as a Historic Aerospace Site by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. DAILY INDEPENDENT PHOTO BY JOHN V. CIANI
JOHN V. CIANIfirstname.lastname@example.org
Joining places like Kitty Hawk in North Carolina, Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and Tranquility Base on the moon, the China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station was designated an aerospace historical site Friday.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics held a designation ceremony, which included a plaque unveiling at the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology.
“We're honoring the contributions China Lake made over the past
64 years,” said AIAA China Lake Section Chairman Jeff
Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Commander Rear Adm. Mark Skinner told the audience the plaque, which is mounted on a granite boulder, is set near a memorial to those who gave their lives working at China Lake.
“Work in this business is not without risk,” he said.
China Lake has created and supported emerging technology, said
AIAA Western Region Director Bruce Wilson. He added that China Lake
served the country in war and peace.
“We have to honor this historic place,” said Wilson. “Your work is not forgotten.”
NOTS' beginnings date back to 1943, when the Navy commissioned the California Institute of Technology to develop urgently needed rockets, and adequate facilities were needed for testing and evaluation.
Early projects include the test and evaluation of air-launched
missiles, solid propellants, fire-control systems and rocket and
guided missiles. During World War II, NOTS played a role in the
Manhattan Project as the site of Project Camel, which developed
explosive bomb components.
During the Korean War, the station delivered the 6.5-inch tank-killing Ram rocket after only 28 days in development and testing. China Lake also developed the Sidewinder missile and expanded into more diverse fields such as weather-modification and satellite-delivery systems. China Lake also played a significant role in the development of the Polaris missile.