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Space History Photo: Plum Brook Reactor Primary Building

space history, Plum Brook reactor facility, NASA
The Plum Brook reactor primary building as seen by an artist in 1956. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historic photo from the U.S. space agency, a 1956 artist's schematic of Plum Brook reactor primary buildings with a cutaway of the containment vessel revealing the quadrants, the reactor pressure tank, and the lily pad. It was called the lily pad because, with water in the quadrants, the circular center resembled "a lily pad floating on water."

For more information browse the Plum Brook Facility Page.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov