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  [Discuss] The deconstruction of launch pad 39B (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] The deconstruction of launch pad 39B
astro-nut
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Posts: 553
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 06-11-2011 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a shame to see these torn down like they had no purpose.

MrSpace86
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Posts: 1390
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 06-14-2011 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think we all hate those photos. And they keep getting worse too Wait until 39A starts going down. It's like going through the funeral all over again.

RocketmanRob
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From: New York City USA
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posted 06-14-2011 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an absolute shame. Unbelievable watching this disappear.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-07-2011 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
Hmmm... end of June... I suppose once 39B is done they can start the deconstruction of 39A as well.
Pad 39A will remain in "shuttle shape," as described by launch director Mike Leinbach. It will be repaired (as necessary) after the launch of STS-135 and maintained with its fixed and rotating service structures standing so they are available for use, if desired, for the shuttle-derived heavy lift vehicle (Space Launch System).

Pad 39B deconstruction continues and will be prepared as a "clean pad." SpaceX is currently weighing leasing 39B to launch its Falcon 9 Heavy booster.

ea757grrl
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From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 07-07-2011 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those pictures may be sad to look at, indeed... but anyone who's been to the ruins of 14 and 19 knows what the alternative usually becomes, particularly in a harsh environment.

Reconfiguring 39B, while it does take away significant structures to which many of us have an attachment, nonetheless means it can remain active and support future vehicles. Personally, I'd rather have an altered but live 39B...

MrSpace86
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Posts: 1390
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 08-04-2011 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yikes, those new photos are scary. But then again, it's nice that something new may be constructed in its place for future vehicles. After almost every Soyuz launch, the words "the crew launched from the same pad Yuri Gagarin launched from" appear somewhere in the story; future articles will read "same pad from where the mighty Saturns and Space Shuttles lifted off".

I like the sound of that

nojnj
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Posts: 499
From: Highland Heights, KY
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 09-21-2011 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nojnj   Click Here to Email nojnj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So sad to see...

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 09-28-2011 11:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there the day before GRAIL was launched this month, and it was such a sad site to see that pad completely wiped clean. I was told by some of the people there that the remains were all scrapped.

Pasco Iron & Metal and Green Tree Recycling got the remains and the plan is to melt it all down and recycle it.

As nuts as people are for items from the space program that were there, it seems insane that in a pure business standpoint they aren’t trying to cash in. The remains broken down into paperweights or cast into coins are SO much more valuable than their pure scrap value.

I tried to call Pasco today but they were closed by 4:30 local time. I'm tempted to call again and ask if they have a piece I could buy, but I bet they've gotten more than a few calls already and by now I'd have no idea if it was actually from the towers anyway (assuming any of that is still around).

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-28-2011 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's contract with LVI Environmental Services required that all material be recycled and specifically prohibited the sale (or otherwise transfer) of any metal from the towers as souvenirs, mementos or artifacts.

LVI subcontracted Pasco and other recyclers around the state of Florida to process the scrap metal. I spoke with Pasco earlier this year and they are unable to provide any metal.

NASA's pad leader cited International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as the primary reason why the restrictions were placed on the contract.

Fra Mauro
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From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 09-29-2011 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is sad. It's almost like they want to wipe away everything so people will start to forget about it. It's similiar to situations on old Civil War battlefields.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-29-2011 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
It's almost like they want to wipe away everything so people will start to forget about it.
You're right. NASA should have never been allowed to fly the space shuttle from Complex 39 because it made everyone forget about Apollo.

The loss of the historic towers and the way they were disposed is sad. One wishes the technology existed to preserve them elsewhere in a way that was both practical and economical.

At the very least, it would have been better if museums and the public could have helped to save more parts of the towers from being recycled as scrap metal.

But their demolition was not the result of a political agenda. They were erected to service the space shuttle. With that program now over, their purpose was over.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1434
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 09-29-2011 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
NASA's pad leader cited International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as the primary reason why the restrictions were placed on the contract.
I will never understand the ITAR issue here. Maybe it was made from Splendonium (that is machined out of a billet of Unobtainium).

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-29-2011 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
NASA's contract with LVI Environmental Services required that all material be recycled and specifically prohibited the sale (or otherwise transfer) of any metal from the towers as souvenirs, mementos or artifacts.

Then you wonder why nobody cares about what NASA does- or used to do. It's beyond pathetic.

Proceeds from souvenirs, mementos or artifacts (or even a tax on contractors manufacturing such items with the metal) could be used to finance, say, education in math and science.

NASA probably can't do that because it's not supposed to "make money". Then change the law/statute. Nothing's carved in stone.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2237
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-29-2011 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess is that the steel alloy used to make the structures is a higher grade than some in order to resist the temperatures that it does without distorting. So there is probably some concern that the metallurgy could be analyzed if somebody got a piece of it (weird thinking I know, but one has to think like a bureaucrat sometimes to understand them).

That type of industrial espionage has been done before though as when a contingent of Soviets were sent to the UK to acquire the Rolls Royce jet engines for study, they also had a KGB agent with special soles on his shoes which could pick up metal fragments from the work stations used to machine the parts. The engines were instrumental in deciphering how the designs worked, but the metal fragments were instrumental in determining how the things were built. A few years later, the Soviets had the engine for the MiG-15.

Now I am not saying that a launch tower built over 30 years ago from some pieces that are almost 50 years old in some cases would cause an Earth shattering balance of power shift if their metal fell into the wrong hands, but I imagine an analysis of the metal itself, plus the microscopic traces of SRB exhaust on them could yield some interesting data for somebody who might want to study them.

jscott1000
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posted 11-14-2011 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1000   Click Here to Email jscott1000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As sad as this is, we must remember that the clean pad approach was a part of the plan ever since the retirement of the shuttle was enacted. So we mustn't blame the current status of NASA exploration for the deconstruction of Pad B.

Yes there were many that wanted to save the Apollo Launch tower after it was removed from MLP3, and it sat rusting behind headquarters building in pieces until 2004 when it was finally declared environmental waste by the EPA and scrapped. Someone this time decided to scrap it immediately to save all the angst.

LM-12
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Posts: 896
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-15-2013 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
The current fixed service structure was created from the original Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT) used during the Apollo Program.
  • Pad 39A has the ML-2 section and was used for Apollo 4, 9, 12, 14 and the Skylab workshop.

  • Pad 39B has the ML-3 and was used for Apollo 10, 13, 15, 16, and 17

Shouldn't that be:
  • Pad 39A FSS from ML-3 (Apollo 10, 13, 15, 16, 17)
  • Pad 39B FSS from ML-2 (Apollo 6, 9, 12, 14 and Skylab 1)


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