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Space History Photo: Technicians Manipulate Shim Safety Control Rod

space history, NASA, radiation research
Two technicians in anti-contamination clothing manipulate a shim safety control rod in a water canal. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this 1961 historical photo from the U.S. space agency, two technicians clad in anti-contamination clothing manipulate a shim safety control rod in a water canal in the hot laboratory. The twenty-five foot deep water provided shielding from the radiation, yet still enabled visible contact with the research experiments. The water also allowed the underwater transfer of irradiated materials from the reactor to the hot laboratory for inspection. Moving materials by canal reduced the need for lead transfer casks, though they were still needed when the radioactive materials were taken out of the water.

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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