The Thiokol Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster is the first solid fuel rocket used to propel a manned space vehicle into orbit. It is also the most powerful rocket motor ever launched with a maximum of over three million pounds of thrust. The boosters were developed specifically for the Space Shuttle program in the 1970s. The first one was ground tested in July 1977.
This booster is a combination of real and replica parts. The main body of the rocket is made up of four sections, two of them are made of steel as were all the rockets used in Space Shuttle launches. The other two are experimental designs made of filament-wound composite material. These sections were intended for use on Shuttles launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. When those launches were cancelled, the redesigned rocket sections were never used. The nose cone and rear of the rocket are mockups made of metal and fiberglass to complete the booster for display. The booster and one other were formerly displayed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida before being given to the California Science Center along with the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2011. In 2016, the booster was donated to the Pima Air & Space Museum and moved by truck to Arizona from storage at Edwards Air Force Base.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Pima Air & Space Museum
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