We've all dropped something important to us at some point in our life. Maybe a phone, a camera , or something that just makes us cringe as it falls to the floor as we wonder if it will survive the impact. At Sandia, we drop some of the most important items to our nation intentionally, and we drop them hard, all for the sake of making the world a safer place. And it's all thanks to a unique testing capability; the Drop Tower & Water Impact test complex.

The Drop Tower test complex has two different towers—one 185 feet high and one 300 feet high—and a large water impact facility. The 185-foot tower was built in the late 1950s and was primarily designed for weapons testing. The tower raises units to a specific height and then, as the name suggests, drops them for specific testing purposes. The 300-foot tower was built later in the early 1960s. The water impact facility was added later after the Space Shuttle program was introduced in the 1980s and has been used for everything from homemade ice to torpedo testing to underwater-sensing security devices. Between the Drop Towers and water impact facility, more than 17 tests of all types and complexities are designed and conducted every year. So get ready for some jaw dropping facts about one of Sandia's most unique facilities in this tour of the Drop Tower Test Complex

In Memoriam: This tour is dedicated to our colleague and friend Rebecca Gustaf. Sandia always looked its best through the lens of her camera. Her skill and talent captured so well the things that make Sandia such a unique and wonderful place. She will be missed, and we are grateful her memory lives on here in the Virtual Tours.