# Is there anything left of the J-2 test stands at Santa Susana Field Laboratory and the F-1 test stands at Edwards AFB?

The Mississippi Test Facility (now Stennis Space Center) is used for a lot of rocket testing, including testing the F-1. However, many of the test stands are now gone.

Rocketdyne, however, also had their own test stands. The J-2 was tested at Santa Susana Field Laboratory and the F-1 was tested at Edwards Air Force Base (the test stand was massive - note the arrow pointing at a person at the bottom for scale).

Santa Susana is no longer used for anything, and Edwards AFB also does not seem to have a problem with free space. Are any of the test stands still there, or have they been demolished as well?

• The stand at Edwards per rtk.rjifuture.org/rmp/facility/100000106299 is at 34.944, -117.688 and a look on Google maps indicates there is still something there. Nov 12 '20 at 20:44
• Excellent find @JonCuster! Sure looks like it, even with the distorted image... I wonder how far one could drive onto "Rocket Site Road"...
– Ludo
Nov 12 '20 at 21:10
• You have to love how there's a green grass yard around the HQ building. Nov 12 '20 at 21:22
• There is a Virtual tour of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory available. Much lower risk of wildfire, chemical or nuclear contamination... Nov 13 '20 at 1:17
• @astrosnapper that is so cool! Aside from test stand Alfa 2 everything still seems to be there at the time they they made the tour, including the test stands used for the J-2 (presumably in Coca, according to this page).
– Ludo
Nov 14 '20 at 16:02

With some googling I found a web site with a reference to the F-1 test stand being at the coordinates 34.944, -117.688. Following that to the Google maps link, in satellite mode one clearly sees the remains of 2 test stands. The one on the right matches the F-1.

As for Santa Susana, an article in the Daily News has a picture indicating there was something still there as of August 2017. Following Google one can see remains of test stands there as well.

• Excellent finds! I can't figure out if the test stands at Edwards are actually on the base or on more-or-less public grounds outside. I guess in either case access is restricted (not that I'm anywhere near them anyway...)
– Ludo
Nov 14 '20 at 16:06
• @Ludo - bases usually don’t let space go, particularly if there is infrastructure (and hazardous chemicals) remaining. Nov 14 '20 at 16:41
• Sure, but I mean that Rocket Site Rd seems a public road, going by Google maps and Google Streetview (although the Streetview car didn't go there), which makes me wonder if the test site was actually part of Edwards or if it was a separate site.
– Ludo
Nov 14 '20 at 17:09
• @Ludo - Yes, but if you follow Mercury Blvd up towards the site you will clearly see a gate at the point labeled 'AFRL Propulsion Directorate' by Google maps, along with a fence line. So, yes, still on Edwards, but with its own security perimeter. Nov 14 '20 at 17:30
• Apparently the test stands are visible from highway 58 running nearby. If only I had known that a couple of years ago when I stopped by at the north entrance of Edwards, just 10 miles west... (big "The Right Stuff" fan - had to stop for the photo-op while on the way from LA to SF...)
– Ludo
Nov 14 '20 at 20:02

From Wikipedia:

During static test firing, the kerosene-based RP-1 fuel left hydrocarbon deposits and vapors in the engine post test firing. These had to be removed from the engine to avoid problems during engine handling and future firing, and the solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) was used to clean the engine's fuel system immediately before and after each test firing. The cleaning procedure involved pumping TCE through the engine's fuel system and letting the solvent overflow for a period ranging from several seconds to 30–35 minutes, depending upon the engine and the severity of the deposits. For some engines, the engine's gas generator and LOX dome were also flushed with TCE prior to test firing.

Unfortunately a lot of trichloroethylene will be left in the ground below a test stand, regardless if a test stands is still there, or has been demolished many years ago.

• Not sure how this answers my question...?
– Ludo
Nov 13 '20 at 6:40
• @Ludo Im guessing a fairly strict interpretation of “is there anything left of...” 😀
– Moo
Nov 13 '20 at 7:59
• @Ludo You asked for "Is there anything left of ..... the F-1 test stand". TCE was used in the test stand.
– Uwe
Nov 13 '20 at 15:50
• -1 The question clearly states "Are any of the test stands still there, or have they been demolished as well?" I appreciate out-of-the-box thinking if it leads to new insights, but this is not helpful...
– Ludo
Nov 14 '20 at 11:07