One-Million-Liter Test Sphere
One-Million-Liter Test Sphere
Nearest city: Frederick, Maryland Coordinates: Coordinates: Built: 1951 Architect: Unknown Governing body: United States Army NRHP Reference#: 77000696  Added to NRHP: November 23, 1977
The One-Million-Liter Test Sphere — also known as the Test Sphere, the Horton Test Sphere, the Cloud Study Chamber, Building 527, and the “Eight Ball” (or “8-ball”) — is a decommissioned biological warfare (BW) chamber and testing facility located on Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA. It was constructed and utilized by the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories as part of its BW research program from 1951 to 1969. It is the largest aerobiology chamber ever constructed and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
The stainless steel test sphere, a cloud chamber used to study static microbial aerosols, is a four-story high, 131-ton structure. Its 1-inch-thick (25 mm), carbon steel hull was designed to withstand the internal detonation of "hot" biological bombs without risk to outsiders. It was originally contained within a cubical brick building.
Its purpose was the study of infectious agent aerosols and testing of pathogen-filled munitions. The device was designed to allow exposure of animals and humans to carefully controlled numbers of organisms by an aerosol (inhalational) route. Live, tethered animals were inserted into the chamber along with BW bombs for exposure tests. Human volunteers breathed metered aerosols of Q fever or tularemia organisms through ports along the perimeter of the sphere.
Herbert G. Tanner, the head of Camp (now Fort) Detrick's Munitions Division, had envisioned an enclosed environment where biological tests could be conducted on site, rather than at remote places like Dugway Proving Ground, Utah and Horn Island, Mississippi.
The facility was constructed during 1947 and 1948 and became operational at Camp Detrick in 1950 .
The test sphere was utilized during the Operation Whitecoat studies (1954–73), the first exposure taking place on January 25, 1955.
The test sphere has not been used since 1969, when the US offensive BW program was disestablished by President Nixon. The building housing the test sphere was destroyed by fire in 1974. However, the chamber itself was placed on the National Register of Historic Places  in 1977.
- United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
- United States biological weapons program
- Building 470
United States biological weapons program
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
Weaponized agents Researched agents WeaponsE120 bomblet · E133 cluster bomb · E14 munition · E23 munition · E48 particulate bomb · E61 bomb · E77 balloon bomb · E86 cluster bomb · E96 cluster bomb · Flettner rotor bomblet · M114 bomb · M115 bomb · M143 bomblet · M33 cluster bomb Operations and testingEdgewood Arsenal experiments · Operation Big Buzz · Operation Big Itch · Operation Dark Winter · Operation Dew · Operation Drop Kick · Operation LAC · Operation Magic Sword · Operation May Day · Operation Polka Dot · Operation Whitecoat · Project 112 · Project Bacchus · Project Clear Vision · Project Jefferson FacilitiesU.S. Army Biological Warfare Labs · Blue Grass Army Depot · Building 101 · Building 257 · Building 470 · Deseret Test Center · Dugway Proving Ground · Edgewood Arsenal · Fort Detrick · Fort Douglas · Fort Terry · Granite Peak Installation · Horn Island Testing Station · One-Million-Liter Test Sphere · Pine Bluff Arsenal · Rocky Mountain Arsenal · Vigo Ordnance Plant Related topics U.S. National Register of Historic Places in Maryland Lists by county
Lists by city Other lists Keeper of the Register • History of the National Register of Historic Places • Property types • Historic district • Contributing property
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