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  Johnson Space Center: Building 29

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Author Topic:   Johnson Space Center: Building 29
hlbjr
Member

Posts: 321
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 10-25-2009 08:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see Bldg. 29 had a centrifuge in Apollo days. Is it still there? If not, what is in the building now? Thanks.

Harvey Brown
Delray Beach, FL

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-25-2009 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Building 29 was the Weightless Environment Training Facility (WETF), Johnson Space Center's original neutral buoyancy laboratory before the construction of the off-site Sonny Carter Training Facility.

The pool, no longer needed for spacewalk training, was used for astronaut exercise.

Renovations began last year to convert the facility to the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Avionics and Integration Lab (CAIL), the Orion equivalent to the Shuttle Avionics and Integration Lab (SAIL).

The work included the total demolition of the building's interior, including all interior walls, ceilings and the former astronaut training pool.

hlbjr
Member

Posts: 321
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 10-25-2009 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert. I assume the interior of the building is still circular from its days as the centrifuge facility? I also wonder if a close look at the ceiling will give evidence to the building's original mission?

Harvey Brown
Delray Beach, FL

AFGAS
Member

Posts: 89
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 10-26-2009 06:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember doing tours there in 89-90 and always enjoyed pointing out the observation windows and 'door to nowhere' that was used to access the centrifuge capsule. I don't remember anything unusual about the ceiling.

Sad to hear about the removal of the WETF. I know it's redundant and must suck down a lot of budget but it does have historical value for the shuttle program.

pokey
Member

Posts: 345
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-27-2009 07:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The circular centrifuge portion of the building (according to what I was told long ago) has a layer of copper wiring in the walls called a Faraday net - shielded the area from spurious radio signals. And protected any from leaving as well. That may complicate some of the current renovations.

My personal opinion on being a worker out at JSC and a history buff - I don't mind WETF not being there anymore. It was miniscule compared to the total magnificence of the NBL. When I saw the WETF back in the 80's it was clearly retrofitted into the centrifuge area. I would rather have 29 repurposed than destroyed.

I also very much enjoyed seeing heng44's photo of the week (260) showing Bean in the 29 centrifuge area for his Apollo training.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 10-27-2009 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard a rumor from one of the Crew Systems guys when I was working at JSC that the Russians copied our use of underwater training, including the design of the building. As mentioned earlier, the WET-F was round because it was a re-purposed centrifuge building, and not for any practical reason. In copycatting our design, the Russians supposedly built a round building for their underwater training. I'm no Russian expert, but I suspect some of you here could confirm or deny whether or not this was actually true (is/was the Russian version round?).

All times are CT (US)

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