Rocket Belt, Reaction Motors, Inc.

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    Rocket Belt, Reaction Motors, Inc.

    Irregular shape, built around two identically sized propellant tanks, painted bright red, attached to straight back pad, rectangular, tan-colored plastic covering now sticky from deterioration; interior of pad stuffed with foam, now also deteriorated; six fabric straps secured to front of back pad and used to secure rocket belt user; two steel buckles on ends and one in the middle of three of the straps, the buckles with corrosion powder; other ends of the remaining straps with worn off leather ends; very wide U-shaped pipe, also painted bright red, attached to bottom edge of back pad rectangle by simple u-clamps and bolts and further braced by aluminum support pipes, one on each side, at angle, with each end of pipe bolted to each edge of back pad, one pipe on each side; two shiny aluminum rods, each with recessed aluminum nozzle, secured on each end of the wide U-shaped pipe, with each nozzle facing downward when belt is worn; central shiny aluminum pipe, with central steel fitting shaft, leading from middle of wide U-shape pipe, with servo valve attached on end and electrical wire, with gray plastic insulation, one strand leading to plug with two female sockets and other strand to aluminum cylinder, 4.5 inches long, with black plastic push button, constituting the pilot's control switch; other pipe, aluminum, also painted red, with two outlets to each of the two propellant tanks and also connected to main pipe.

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This is a rocket belt, also called a jet pack, built by the Reaction Motors Division (RMD) of the Thiokol Chemical Corporation, in Denville, New Jersey in 1964. RMD began development of this device in 1958. The first units were propelled by compressed nitrogen gas. The model shown here is a later version that used compressed hydrogen peroxide. Although other firms, such as Bell Aerosystems, also built rocket belts, they did not achieve much success as commercial or military products. RMD's rocket belt was not adopted for use by the military.

The Reaction Motors Division of Thiokol Chemical Corporation gave this rocket belt to the Museum in 1964.