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First Aerojet Manufacturing Site
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285 W Colorado Blvd

On Colorado Blvd in Pasadena in 1942, the Aerojet Engineering Company founded the first manufacturing facility for the production of rocket propulsion systems. This site was selected to be honored by AIAA because of its significance as one of the first production sites for rocket motors, laying part of the foundation for the rocket business. Production was done under the leadership of Aerojet's first president, Dr. Theodore von Karman, world-renowned scientist and engineer from the California Institute of Technology. The plant remained here until 1945. The site is now owned by the Rusnak Automotive Group. Aerojet, now a subsidiary of GenCorp, is still a leading company in the aerospace field. It has over 4,000 employees, engaged in space and missile propulsion, smart munitions and armaments, and space electronics.

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The original Aerojet manufacturing facility no longer exists. Early rockets produced by Aerojet included the Aerobee Hi rocket, flown in 1946 to an altitude of 37 miles. It is on display and test fired the first complete Aerobee from the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico in 1947. It reached an altitude of 34.7 miles.

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