Was it 1961... or 1991(?!)
I know the in-game images say the shaft was sealed in 1961, as this date was most likely given to enhance the "derelictness" of the old facility for the sake of plot.
If the shaft was sealed in 1991 instead of 1961, then it would close several glaring plot holes
1. The Shaft 9 facilities were under construction through the 1980's and had to be accessible to construction crews.
2. The Borealis dry-dock is located there and must have been accessible for the teleportation experiments to have taken place.
3. The gels were developed after 1961, yet they are pumped through Shaft 9.
4. The gel pump stations connect to the modern Enrichment Center which is from the 1980's.
I propose that Test Shaft 9 (a.k.a. Zulu Bunsen) was sealed off on June 15, 1991 due to Cosmic Ray Spallation Elements generated as a side-effect of the Borealis teleportation experiment.
There ya go, plot fixed.UserAlexcranson|Alexcranson 0539, April 25, 2011 (UTC)
You, sir, make sense. Valve, as usuals, you don't. This mistake is just silly. Or maybe it was done on purpose? We'll never know, I guess. UserKlow|Klow 2356, April 25, 2011 (UTC)
ive been doing alot of snooping around test shaft 09, so ill keep this updated with what i find.
-there is no grammatical mistake for the shaft's condemned date. i have found signs to re-enforce the date
-i noticed an odd symbol on one of the large pillars in the beginning of the level that i have not seen anywhere else in the game http//steamcommunity.com/id/trunk_slamchest/screenshot/540640198853882445
-CJ mentions a control group of Kepler-Seven with implanted brain chips reaching 500 degrees. here is what i found about Kepler-7 http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler-7 . It is also interesting to note that the test numbers jump to 27 in the same chamber CJ mentions the control group. the proceeding elevator takes you to the borealis, jumping from 1958 to 1971.
-after CJ mentions "this next test has trace amounts of time travel..." he begins complaining about how much time the player is taking on the catwalks, and after completing the final test(#28, 1958) in the chamber, CJ seems to get upset, and fire one of his employees. who did CJ fire? he also recommends the employee to "invent a special door that wont hit you in the butt on your way out. youre fired." The G-Man travels through "special" portals that do not have doors.
-after completing the test chamber immediately after finding the borealis's drydock, CJ's pre-recorded message about "olympians, astronauts and/or war heros" is abruptly cut short, and then informs the player that the elevator is not a bathroom, insinuating that the player is taking a long time to enter the elevator. it should be noted how peculiar the interruption is (it sounds as though CJ is saying "save the..." before its cut out) and how drastic CJ's voice and attitude changes. from this point forward CJ's message begin to deteriorate, as does his health, and aperture seemingly begins to fail.
-the number in the "Please take a Number" machine in the test subject waiting room at pump station beta is 426. this could possibly be a Roman Empire reference http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/426
-the first appearance of the "Alert Your Supervisor If You See..." posters are at pump station beta. Pump station beta is also the first time CJ mentions Black Mesa, or the senate hearings on missing astronauts in his pre recorded messages.
-there are 9 testing spheres in shaft 09, according to the map at the beginning of the shaft. the player only plays through 6 spheres, presumably leaving 3 unaccounted for.
-i noticed 2 vitrified doors in the bottom of the shaft have B 09/S on them. no other vitrified door has this
-there are three different years in the pump station gamma room. 1978, 1981, 1982
-potaDOS repeats caroline's words, as CJ asks Caroline for the compensation vouchers, and short circuits in the immediate chamber after pump station beta. the year on it is 1972
UserTrunk_slamchest|Trunk_slamchest 0917, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
Maybe they sealed it off in 1961, but secretly continued testing in the seventies, when they ran out of money. That would also explain why there is no sixties area. UserTokoloshi|Tokoloshi 0741, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
I think the sign means they sealed the bottom hatch in 1961, not the shaft itself. The shaft has it's own elevator, so even if it's sealed in the bottom - it has acces to itself. Bottom of salt mines looks like it was heavily used while they were constructing the shafts (not their interior, because you can't see any sphere-related junk lying around shafts, only huge pipes and cranes). And then, when the exterior of all the shafts was finished, they sealed bottom hatches and started building up interior from the inside. Also, the vacuum-tube timers in the bottom so they built the hatch in 1950x, sealed it in 1961 and forgot about it completely - no need to upgrade the timers to something more modern. SpecialContributions/22.214.171.124|126.96.36.199 1137, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
The top hatch was also posted as sealed in 1961... but I do like the idea of falsely sealing the chamber and then reusing it. It would explain how they could get away with testing so many hobos without inspectors getting on their case. UserAlexcranson|Alexcranson 1756, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
Also, I think CJ just fired one of his employees who suggested they should slow down for safety reasons or something like that. You know, like a whistle-blower. UserAlexcranson|Alexcranson 1802, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
IMO the test shaft was sealed from 1961- 1970. If one recalls when first entering the 70's section of Old aperture Cave mentions 1968 senate hearings about missing astronauts. Its likely the entire shaft was sealed during the senate hearings and then reopened but in Apertures usual laziness they just never took down the signs. UserSajuukKhar|SajuukKhar 1213, April 29, 2011 (UTC)
About sealed hatches. Yep, I checked, the plague above top hatch also says it was sealed in 1961. But, the lift still is separate entity from hatches - even if both hatches were sealed in 1961, the shaft was accessible. Though, the room right behind the top hatch really looks like it was built after 1961.
So my conclusions
* The exterior and base (including lift and two hatches) for shaft 09 were built circa 1950.
* After they finished exterior, Aperture started to build interior from the bottom of shaft.
* Also, sometime right before the 1961 there already were some constructions above the top hatch. And gel pipes were already present during this time, running from the bottom to the top, through unfinished shaft. Why? Because I think that gel pipes at the top of the shaft were used during CJ era to pump gel down to the shaft, to store it there in vast reservoirs. So the gel was produced somewhere in the upper facility, or even outside of it.
* In 1961 top and bottom hatches were sealed. But the top hatch was sealed with ability to quickly open it from time to time. For pumping down some more gel and even new types of gel (white one, which was invented many years after the hatches were sealed). And bottom hath was simply left behind and abandoned with all the machinery needed to open it.
* Starting from 1961, all the construction works were produced only inside the shaft 09 using the main lift. All the works on the exterior and surrounding area of the hatch were already finished.
SpecialContributions/188.8.131.52|184.108.40.206 1255, April 29, 2011 (UTC)
The problem with all this is that the Pump Stations are located in the lower regions of the Aperture Science facilities, so it was pumped from the bottom-up, not being pumped down from the upper regions. Also there are plenty of test chambers from the CJ era that are labeled as "Vitrified" although these tests were being used up until the Borealis event which happened well after 1961. UserAlexcranson|Alexcranson 0029, May 7, 2011 (UTC)
Wait a second... ?!?!?!? OMG!!! None of those chambers labeled as "Vitrified" were actually vitrified!!! None of them were glassified or even filled with concrete... Wow! That means the the entire condemnation of Test Shaft 9 was a farce!
Holy Cow!UserAlexcranson|Alexcranson 0032, May 7, 2011 (UTC)
False in-universe, the co-op survey was actually vitrified and actually had to be rediscovered. UserASBusinessMagnet|ASBusinessMagnet 1903, June 22, 2011 (UTC)
The co-op campaign was not set in Test Shaft 9...UserAlexcranson|Alexcranson 2002, June 22, 2011 (UTC)
|description= The original version of the 1500 Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super Button.
|source= ''Portal 2''
|cat subject=CategoryTest Shaft 09 images
|cat type=CategoryPortal 2 screenshots
|description=The original version of the Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill.
|source= ''Portal 2''
|cat subject=CategoryTest Shaft 09 images
|cat type=Category Portal 2 screenshots