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Key moments in history at Space Park campus in Redondo Beach

December 14, 2011 |  6:00 am


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.


Paul Allen to build behemoth plane for space launches

Engineer lives large on government dime

Police are all ears when it comes to sound cannons

-- W.J. Hennigan

Photo: TRW Inc.'s Space Park circa 1968. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corp.