Space History Photo: View From Inside the Hot Laboratory

space history, NASA, radiation research
The hot laboratory viewed from inside as engineer Dave Gardner uses the manipulator arms in 1961. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this 1961 historical photo from the U.S. space agency, we see the view from inside a hot laboratory looking out. The manipulator arm is in the foreground; the engineer behind the glass, Dan Gardner, is operating it. A fifty-two inch oil-filled glass window protected the operator from the radiation. The oil eliminated all of the window's distortion when looking through it.

There were seven interconnected hot cells at Plum Brook; each with its own function. Cell 1 was over twice as large as the others. It was used for dismantling experiments when they entered the hot laboratory. Cell 2 had an engine lathe to machine materials. Cell 3 was a tensile testing facility with two sets of manipulator arms. Cell 4 was a preparatory area for Cell 5, where a variety of metallographic testing equipment was housed. Cell 6 was used for chemical analysis. Cell 7 had x-ray diffraction and analysis DE:machinery. Each cell had filtered air, water, special vents, an intercom, and floor drains for liquid waste effluent.

For more information browse the Plum Brook Facility Page.

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