“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ridgecrest in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake

AIAA Historic Aerospace Site

China Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, July 15, 2019
1. China Lake Marker
China Lake is one of the nation’s premier weapons laboratories. Established in 1943, China Lake supports Naval aviation and warfighter requirements, and will continue to arm the Fleet into the future. The Station conceived of and developed rockets during WWII; non-nuclear components for the first atomic bomb; Sidewinder, Shrike, and Walleye missiles; and the Polaris concept. China Lake developed NOTSNIK in 1958 and vital components for the Mars Lander in 2004. The Station, a world leader in aircraft weapons integration, testing, and electronic warfare, developed 75% of the air-launched weapons used during Vietnam and jointly developed 80% of those used during Iraqi Freedom.
Erected 2006 by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceScience & MedicineWar, 1st Iraq & Desert StormWar, Vietnam. In addition, it is included in the AIAA Historic Aerospace Sites series list.
Location. 35° 37.802′ 
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N, 117° 40.08′ W. Marker is in Ridgecrest, California, in Kern County. Marker is on Las Flores Avenue east of China Lake Boulevard, on the left when traveling east. Located at China Lake Museum, open Mon-Sat 10-4. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 130 E Las Flores Avenue, Ridgecrest CA 93555, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mk IV Special Weapon (within shouting distance of this marker); "Siding 16" (approx. 8.2 miles away); Indian Wells (approx. 11.8 miles away).
More about this marker. The China Lake Museum, and this marker, were originally located at nearby Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. They have been moved to this location in town for easier public access, and to allow room for expansion. The museum is located next to the Maturango Museum.
Also see . . .
1. China Lake Museum. (Submitted on February 19, 2020.)
2. Maturango Museum. History of the Upper Mojave Desert. (Submitted on February 19, 2020.) 
China Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
2. China Lake Marker
China Lake Museum image. Click for full size.
3. China Lake Museum
Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 19, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 363 times since then and 137 times this year. Last updated on March 9, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 19, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2023