Apix, Florida

In the late 1950s, in order to keep pace with the Soviet Union, the U.S. government created a fictitious town named Apix (Air Products Incorporated, Experimental) to build and test rocket engines powered by liquid hydrogen.

Testing the XLR-115 hydrogen fueled rocket engine, Apix, 1958

Testing the XLR-115 hydrogen fueled rocket engine, Apix, 1958



Assembling Pratt & Whitney designed liquid hydrogen rocket engines, Apix, 1958

Assembling Pratt & Whitney designed liquid hydrogen rocket engines, Apix, 1958

The project, codenamed “Suntan,” was highly classified and required a large degree of secrecy. Land near the testing ground in rural Palm Beach County was platted for houses to conceal the true nature of the site. Apix was given a bogus population to add to its cover as a small fertilizer-producing community.

Rocket engine test stands, Apix, 1958

Rocket engine test stands, Apix, 1958

By June 1959, the use of liquid hydrogen was determined to be too costly. The project was abandoned and Apix was dismantled.

Four open air rocket engine test cells and control rooms, Apix, 1958

Four open air rocket engine test cells and control rooms, Apix, 1958

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  1. Pingback: For the 500 Students Doing an IA or EE on the Space Race… | Mr. Harrington's Office Hours

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