Big compass discussion
This is a discussion thread for the following file:
A big compass in the floor of the Nevada Desert
Does anyone know, why there is such a compass on the ground?
If you have a look around, you'll recognize, that nearly a whole airfield is "painted" on the desert's ground...
Is the US Army running out of money, so that the cannot afford concrete runways anymore?
Part of Edwards AFB used by NASA (where the shuttle landed recently):
Originally Posted by GEHFileBot
Well, I know that the compass is part of the Edwards AFB, but I was wondering why they are scratching a complete airfield into the ground... does that make sense? Are those sandscratches supposed to be real runways?
Anyways, the Edwards AFB is a real cool place... much to see...
Well, perhaps this is the runway used by the shuttles? I don┤t know, how long it takes the shuttle to stop after it touches the ground. But Runway (RW) 04 is only 5,5 kilometers (measured with tool in Google Earth).
If the other runways "in the sand" are as hard as the ground at a salt lake, the shuttle can use the long runway.
In Edwards AFB RW 36 is about 7 km and RW 33 is about 9 km with some more kilometers to shoot over, if there is a problem.
The reason for scratching the whole airfield in the sand is for training. This is how they would prop up the first landing zones in a desert location.
The compass is a saftey thing...
Wikipedia has all the answers.
The runways are on a dry lake bed, no need for concrete.