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Forum:Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
Topic:Apollo-Soyuz: rollout and mast installation
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It looks like the stack was rolled back to the VAB doors from its position in the posted photograph taken the previous afternoon.

Originally posted by heng44:
I think that is the shadow of the contraption the man in the top photo is standing on
Another afternoon photo of the ASTP rollout is S75-24007. The high-res version shows that the "shadow" is actually part of the support structure that extends vertically down the side of the VAB to the level of the mobile launcher crane.

The lightning mast is mentioned in a KSC news release dated March 2, 1975:

The new look will first be apparent shortly after the transporter moves the mobile launcher with the 224-foot-tall space vehicle just outside the floodlighted eastern face of the Vehicle Assembly Building at 2:00 a.m. on the morning of March 24.

There will be a five-hour pause at this point as KSC workmen lower and secure an 80-foot-tall fiberglass lightning mast into a circular slot on a platform above the hammerhead crane at the top of the launcher.

The mast will be lowered from a steel framework structure (dubbed variously "the laundry chute" and "bird cage") overhanging the top of the 456-foot-high door leading to the outside from High Bay 1.

At 7:00 a.m. -- mast firmly in place -- the transporter will begin the move to Pad B, on the rim of the Atlantic Ocean five miles to the northeast.

LM-12After the ASTP launch, the lightning mast had to be removed from ML-1 before the Mobile Launcher could enter the VAB.

Photo KSC-76PC-0351 was taken during the Bicentennial Exposition event at the VAB in 1976. ML-2 is parked outside the VAB. ML-1 is behind the VAB doors in High Bay 1. The lightning mast can be seen outside the VAB in the steel framework structure above the High Bay 1 doors.

The lightning mast affixed to the VAB can also be seen in photo KSC-76P-0124.

Cozmosis22The mast installation gear was still mounted on the VAB in 1981. This photo was taken on April 9th of that year.

LM-12The lightning mast can be seen above the HB-1 doors in this 1976 aerial photo of the VAB. ML-3 (on right) is being dismantled. S-IC stage at bottom center.

The black arrow is pointing to the VAB itself.

LM-12More details of the steel structure can be seen in this STS-1 rollout photo.
Ken HavekotteJust came across this topic again, and behold, I finally did locate a NASA photo (#108-KSC-75PC-145) depicting the final step of the lightning mast insertion into its support structure atop MLP-1 on March 23, 1975.
RohanCorrect me if I'm wrong, but the lightning mast placed atop the LUT on ML-1 for the ASTP mission is different from the lightning masts on all the other missions. Why did NASA decide to change the lightning mast for this mission, at the very end of the LUT's use?
Robert PearlmanNASA SP-4209, "The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project" describes the then-new lightning mast installed atop the LUT:
One of their major concerns was the possibility of thunderstorms and lightning strikes before and at the time of the launch. July was the worst time of the year for both at Cape Canaveral.

...a lightning strike had long been a worry, one that had been reinforced by the twin bolts that had struck Apollo 12. To combat the effects of such a strike, the KSC team had installed a larger lightning rod atop the launch tower. This 25.6-meter fiberglass mast was designed so that the ground wires would not come any closer than 15 meters to the mobile launcher structure, thus eliminating the arcing of electrical current from the wires to the structure of the spacecraft.

The lightning mast used atop the LUT for ASTP later was installed atop Pad 39B for the space shuttle program.
Originally posted by LM-12:
The lightning mast affixed to the VAB can also be seen in photo KSC-76P-0124.
Other VAB photos indicate that the lightning mast was removed from that location (above the HB-1 doors) sometime between July 1976 and April 1977.

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