Flames shoot from a rocket thrust booster and workers add fuel to cylinders in the opening moments of “Careful Diets for Missiles” as a narrator dramatically proclaims, “Food — for the hungry bellies of rockets and missiles. Their diets are critical. The big jobs eat a lot and mixing it by hand isn't good enough anymore.” With that, the logo for Toledo Scales appears onscreen (mark 01:20) and we’re transported to aerospace manufacturer Thiokol Chemical Corporation in Utah while being told how the two companies worked together to automate the process. Engineers work at control consoles in this early 1960s production while others tinker with circuitry “to do a big job with care and precision.” Solid propellant are shown being mixed in vats and beginning at mark 02:48 we learn the three stages of creating solid propellant, beginning with mixing aluminum power and polymer into a pre-mix, then forming it into an oxidizer, and finally combining the mixture and oxidizer into a final mix. The film continues by detailing each step of the process with the narration illustrated by matching scenes. Come mark 06:56, it is explained how an epoxy also is added to the final mix and we learn about the four final mix operations — each one performed in separate buildings and all monitored from a remote location “by one man.” A controller turns a key at mark 09:10 to unlock the master control console while also checking quality control sheets. The grayish product is seen at mark 12:05 while the narrator explains, “Solid propellant — a meticulous food for giant, monolithic space boosters ready to protect a nation or send vehicles hurdling into space to find the promise of tomorrow.”
Thiokol was an American corporation concerned initially with rubber and related chemicals, and later with rocket and missile propulsion systems. It was founded in 1929. Its initial business was a range of synthetic rubber and polymer sealants, and Thiokol was a major supplier of liquid polymer sealants during World War II. When scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory discovered that Thiokol's polymers made ideal binders for solid rocket fuels, Thiokol moved into the new field, opening laboratories at Elkton, Maryland, and later production facilities at Elkton and at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville produced the XM33 Pollux, TX-18 Falcon, and TX-135 Nike-Zeus systems. It closed in 1996. In the mid-1950s the company bought extensive lands in Utah for its rocket test range, and in 1986 was found at fault for the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the deaths of its astronauts. Thiokol continues to have major operations in the state, at Magna and Promontory (manufacture of the Space Shuttle's solid rocket motors), and its current headquarters at Brigham City. As of 2005 the company employed over 15,000 people worldwide and records annual sales of around US$840 million.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com