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  LC-34 deconstruction and decommission

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Author Topic:   LC-34 deconstruction and decommission
Canaveral
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Posts: 29
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2005

posted 07-24-2006 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Canaveral   Click Here to Email Canaveral     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was the state of Launch Complex 34 at the time the Skylab Saturn IB launches took place starting in 1973?

Did the NASA management team ever debate using LC-34 for these launches, was the gantry and supporting equipment still in-place at LC-34 or was it abandoned by this time?

mikej
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Posts: 419
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-24-2006 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An overview of the launch complex selection process is presented in SP-4208 Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab.

A good description of how LC-39 was modified to support the Saturn IB launches is available in chapter 7 of the Skylab Saturn 1B flight manual.

dtemple
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Posts: 616
From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 07-24-2006 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Canaveral:
What was the possibility of LC-34 being used for the Skylab Saturn 1B launches?
LC-34 was to have been used to launch Apollo missions for the Apollo Applications Program. However, the costs of maintaining the gantry and other associated equipment between the Apollo 7 launch and the time of the first AAP missions eventually proved to be very expensive. Building the so-called milkstool on the Saturn V launcher for the Saturn 1B/Skylab flights proved cheaper, thus LC-34 was deactivated and mostly dismantled except for the hardware noted in the previous posting. Basically, the decision to scrap LC-34 boiled down to money.

svg4349
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Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-30-2010 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for svg4349   Click Here to Email svg4349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This may be a real shot in the dark, but I was wondering if anyone has any photos, documents or information pertaining to the decommissioning / scrapping of Launch Complex 34. I recall LC-34 and 37 were considered for reactivation for the Apollo Applications Program, but 34 was eventually scrapped. Can anyone provide information on the matter.

Does/div an LC-34 "boneyard" exist?

Editor's note: Threads merged

mikej
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Posts: 419
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-30-2010 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LC-34 and LC-37 Deactivation discusses some of the considerations when LC-34 and LC-37 were initially deactivated after Apollo 7.

It seems to me that I saw a different Bellcomm paper on the NTRS which compared the costs and other factors of refurbishing LC-34 and/or LC-37 vs. modifying LC-39, but I can't seem to find the right search terms to turn it up right now.

However, Chapter 13 of SP-4208 Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab does go into some of the details that I think I remember from the elusive memo.

svg4349
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posted 01-30-2010 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for svg4349   Click Here to Email svg4349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike, that was very interesting reading, thanks for your prompt reply.

I guess for the time being I will assume there are no readily available photos of these proceedings, but good info none the less.

I did not realize that the gantries and supporting above ground equipment were removed with such haste after the Apollo 7 launch brought an end to the complex's use. I'd imagine their proximity to the ocean (several hundred yards) expedited the need to remove the towers before the corroded too a critical degree.

If anyone has some photos please share. Thanks.

Proponent
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Posts: 59
From: London
Registered: Oct 2008

posted 02-01-2010 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Proponent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikej:
It seems to me that I saw a different Bellcomm paper on the NTRS which compared the costs and other factors of refurbishing LC-34 and/or LC-37 vs. modifying LC-39, but I can't seem to find the right search terms to turn it up right now.
Maybe it was this memo of March 7, 1969 from G.W. Craft?

mikej
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Posts: 419
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-02-2010 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, that's almost certainly the one.

I ran all of my queries with both "Skylab" and "AAP", but that document must have eluded me because it doesn't contain either of those search terms or "34" or "37"...

Good catch! (And I've saved it to my hard drive for future reference.)

collectSPACE Admin
Administrator

Posts: 503
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-11-2010 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for collectSPACE Admin   Click Here to Email collectSPACE Admin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by svg4349:
If anyone has some photos please share.
Shared by a collectSPACE reader:

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 2036
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 02-11-2010 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Disposal of Pad 34's service structures begin in June 1972 and was completed one year later in the same month.

Rusty B
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Posts: 239
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 02-05-2011 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At least one construction worker lost his life during the construction of LC-34. Morris Carter, age 42. He was hit and killed by a truck on the site Jan. 28, 1960.
Construction Worker Killed At Test Center; Ocala-Star Banner Newspaper Jan 28, 1960.
The other accidents mentioned were a fall from an Atlas launchpad gantry and a fall from a ladder at a Snark launch site.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 02-05-2011 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the blockhouse at Pad 34 completely gutted now? I've seen this photo from the SA-6 launch, but there are precious few photos from other launches that show more than one or two people.

Post-Apollo 7, I have only seen one photo of a single control station with two control panels in the blockhouse. (If this is your photo, please forgive me for posting it without attribution - I've lost the record of where I got it from.)

It's obviously well past the time of Apollo 7, as the glue in the indicator lights has degraded significantly.

I'm curious as to what happened to the equipment that was in the blockhouse. I doubt that any of it made its way over to the Pad 39 LCC.

Does anyone have any tour or other photos from within the blockhouse?

Rusty B
Member

Posts: 239
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 02-05-2011 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a video (Steps to Saturn [1961]) about the launch of SA-1 in October 1961. In the last few minutes of the video are scenes from the inside of the LC-34 blockhouse during the countdown of SA-1.

Also see: Saturn Launch Complex 34 (1962).

All times are CT (US)

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