Jets and Moon Rockets: 1957-1970

North American Rockwell Corp. ... Powering Space Flights

North American, at its peak of the space program, had operating facilities in seven states and special functions in 12 more. Practically all of North American's corporate operations were involved in the space work of Project Apollo, and throughout the nation, services from more than 20,000 firms and hundreds of universities and scientific laboratories were coordinated by North American for the program.

The company modified the command and service modules that transported three crew to and from the Skylab workshop and developed the docking system and docking module for the Apollo-Soyuz linkup in space.

The Rocketdyne division produced control rocket systems for the Gemini manned spaceflights, as well as for unmanned space probes and satellites. In addition, the division adapted the legacy of the terminated Navaho program for many applications, including North American's Hound Dog missile, essentially a miniature Navaho test vehicle designed as primary weapon for the B-52 bomber. The Navaho guidance technology also was applied to the A-5 Vigilante bomber.

By 1967, Rocketdyne was producing afterburners for the turbofan engines of the F-111, an advanced fighter. Diversification efforts at the end of the decade led Rocketdyne engineers to researching waste water management for the Envirotech Corporation and developing new technologies for small engines and rocket propellants.

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