Saving Santa Susana

Why is history important?

Most people have a variety of different reasons why they want to save history. Mostly, it’s because they want something left that will show their children what is was like, what it meant, and why it matters today — whenever “today” might be in the future.

We were wonderfully surprised about the reaction we were finding from both sides of the cleanup issue at Santa Susana Field Laboratory [located in the Simi Hills above the northwest edge of the San Fernando Valley as well as Simi Valley on the other side]. This isn’t about the cleanup. This is about what happens AFTER the cleanup is completed.

Right now, the Coca Test Stands (as well as the other historic structures) are slated for demolition this year, and then, there won’t be much to save. The COCA Test Stands 1 and 4 are where the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) was tested. Before that, we had the lunar missions that all started with tests at Santa Susana. That’s how we got to the moon, and today, that’s why we’re on our way to get to Mars. We shouldn’t be so hasty in tossing away history like it’s nothing. This was a huge accomplishment for humankind and is the basis for so much we do and understand today.

What’s gonna happen? Allen Elliott of NASA says he’s on a mission to demolish the test stands, and that until there’s a different mission, that’s what we’re doing. I know NASA would like to save history too, but they have always been clear on their mission: not to make decisions, but to provide data. Decisions are for policy-makers. The reason this matters, is because history will otherwise be demolished, and erased. This will provide certainty and a place to preserve and celebrate the sacred Native American sites including the Burro Flats Cave Painting. We need to care for our future. To do that, we need to care for our past.

Dear Policy-makers: We want to save history before it’s too late. This will bring reason and certainty to the future, and something the people who did this work deserve. #SaveHistory #SSFLNationalMonument. to write the President and tell him why it matters to you. Don’t forget to use the #SSFLNationalMonument hashtag to keep news and information about this effort together in one place that’s easy for people to find.

Photograph by award-winning Rocketdyne photographer Aleli Kelton

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Next meeting 3/26/15 at 6:30pm Corporate Pointe in West Hills: 8413 Fallbrook Avenue, West Hills, CA 91304

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