Aerojet Dade Rocket Facility is an abandoned rocket testing and manufacturing facility located right on the edge of the South Florida. In 1963, Aerojet General was given a $3 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to build a manufacturing and testing site for rockets that would send astronauts to the moon. Aerojet acquired land for the silo site, less than five miles from the Everglades National Park, paying $2.50 an acre per year for an annual lease with an option to buy up to 25,000 acres more .
The Aerojet-Dade Rocket Facility site was developed to experiment with various types of rocket fuel with which to get humans into space. Two rocket silos were built into the ground and during its operating life, the complex tested three different rocket types at full-burn. These static tests gauged the effectiveness of solid rocket fuel, the last test rocket being the largest solid-fuel rocket ever built.
The silo was shut down in 1986 after the company lost its contract with NASA. Now the facility sits empty, rusting away and unprotected. It’s a popular place for scrap metal thieves, graffiti artists, and young urban explorers looking for a weekend adventure. Three miles into the facility stands a building that houses a silo with the SL-3, the world’s largest solid-fuel rocket booster ever built.
In 1986, after NASA had awarded the Space Shuttle booster contract to Morton Thiokol, Aerojet sued the State of Florida and sold most of its land holdings to the South Dade Land Corporation for $6 million. After many unsuccessful attempts to use the land for farming, the land was sold off again to the state of Florida for $12 million. Aerojet would later trade it’s remaining 5,100-acres in South Florida for 55,000 acres in New Mexico.
Photographer and urbex exlporer Gregory Shaun visited the abandoned facility in March 2022. Here’s what remains of Aerojet-Dade in South Florida. Sixty years later and abandoned rocket still there! You can find more photos of the Aerojet-Dade Rocket Facility below. Continue to explore Silo New Me South Florida.