Press Release

GE Re-entry Systems in Philadelphia Designated Historic Aerospace Site

By SpaceRef Editor
October 19, 2007
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October 19, 2007 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will today designate GE Re-entry Systems, which was located at 3198 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, as a Historic Aerospace Site.

From 1956 to 1993, the GE Re-entry Systems facility was home to thousands of engineers and technicians who solved the problem of vehicles successfully reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. As described by aerospace pioneer Theodore Von Karman, ” Reentry… is perhaps the most difficult problem one can imagine.” Whether it was the first operational reentry vehicle for the Atlas ICBM, the recovery of the first man-made object from orbit, or the first probe to enter Jupiter’s atmosphere, some of the most significant milestones in aerospace were accomplished by those working in this facility.

GE Re-entry Systems achievements also include the first operational ablation reentry vehicle and longest reentry system flight in the world (9000 miles — Atlas Mk 3); the largest operational U.S. reentry vehicle (Titan II Mk 6); and the first multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle weapon system (Minuteman III).

The dedication ceremony will take place tonight at 5 pm at the Drexel University Main Auditorium at 3141 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

AIAA established the Historic Aerospace Sites Program in January 2000 to promote the preservation of, and the dissemination of information about, significant accomplishments made in the aerospace profession. In addition to the GE Re-entry Systems facility, other sites recognized by the AIAA History Technical Committee include the original Bendix Aviation Company in Teterboro, New Jersey; the Boeing Red Barn in Seattle; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina; the site of the first balloon launch in Annonay, France; and Tranquility Base on the moon. For more information about AIAA’s Historic Aerospace Sites Program, contact Emily Springer at 703/264-7533 or [email protected]

AIAA advances the state of aerospace science, engineering, and technological leadership. Headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., the Institute serves over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries. AIAA membership is drawn from all levels of industry, academia, private research organizations, and government. For more information, visit

Sharon Grace
Corporate Communications
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500
Reston, VA 20191

SpaceRef staff editor.