Key moments in history at Space Park campus in Redondo Beach
Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Space Park complex in Redondo Beach is being honored Wednesday in a formal ceremony by the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics.
The professional society, made up of aerospace engineers and scientists, is designating Space Park as a historic aerospace site.
Here are some key moments in its history.
1960: A 110-acre site is purchased in Redondo Beach for the Space Park site and ground is broken.
1961: Space Park opens its new buildings and facilities for what would become TRW Inc.
1965: TRW supplies descent engines for Apollo moon-landing missions.
1967: Several scenes for an episode of the television show “Star Trek” are filmed at Space Park. The location was chosen for its appearance, as described in "The Star Trek Compendium": “A series of symmetrical buildings, this modern complex provided the ideal surroundings for a colony of the future.”
1978: The first-ever shoot down of a rocket in flight by a high-powered laser occurs with a chemical laser built by TRW for the Navy and the Advanced Research Projects Agency.
1983: Pioneer 10, a robotic space probe to Jupiter becomes the first man-made object to leave the solar system. The probe was launched in 1972.
1994: The first of five Milstar military anti-jam communications satellites is launched, carrying a low-data-rate payload engineered and built by TRW.
1996: A TRW laser shoots down a short-range rocket in flight.
2002: Northrop Grumman acquires TRW. TRW’s operations become Northrop’s Space Technology and Mission Systems sectors.
2005: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope team, of which Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor, completes the initial step in manufacturing all the primary mirrors for the next-generation space observatory's telescope. It is now under development to replace the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s expected to launch in 2014.
A story about the Space Park complex appears in The Times today.
-- W.J. Hennigan
Photo: TRW Inc.'s Space Park circa 1968. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corp.