USNS Range Tracker (T-AGM-1) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The appropriately-named Range Tracker started life as a Victory ship in spring 1945. She was built by the Oregon Shipbuilding Co. in less than three months and put in reserve in the late 50s after a rather unassuming career as a transport during the final part of the war and civilian cargo after. By 1961 her conversion to a range tracking ship is complete. These are highly sophisticated vessels, generally operated by a civilian crew, and equipped with advanced radars and electronics for tracking the route of missiles and satellites. In 1963, the Range Tracker used its Inertial Navigation System to monitor the route of astronaut Gordon Cooper during his 22-orbit space flight. She was placed out of service in 1969 and quickly thereafter scrapped.

During the time she was active as a tracking ship asbestos was used in liberal quantities for heat shielding electronics and personnel on board the range tracker put itself at considerable risk of exposure when maintaining radio and other electronic equipment.

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