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  Locating an Apollo-era training facility at KSC

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Author Topic:   Locating an Apollo-era training facility at KSC
ilbasso
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Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 12-21-2010 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spoke today to a gentleman who was taken to a "cinder block building, off the beaten path at KSC" back in 1995. This building housed what appeared to be an Apollo-era training facility. One of the rooms in the building included a partial mock-up of the Apollo-era LCC Firing Room, with about 100 consoles and several projection screens, in a room which had been configured in a tiered fashion. A door at the front of the room led to a blackened room in which there was a full-scale LM mockup.

Does anyone know what building this might have been?

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 12-22-2010 04:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I visited an exhibit like that in 1988. If memory serves (and that's not a given) it was in or near the O&C Bldg. I believe I still have video of it.

When the Apollo/Saturn Center opened in 1997 all of it was relocated there.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 12-22-2010 04:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you sure it wasn't the old Flight Crew Support Building off of "E" Avenue to the east of KSC HQS Bldg. and O&C? There was a backup LM there (LM-9) along with a bunch of control consoles, equipment, etc. in storage there during the 90s. Its now the Engineering Development Lab.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 12-22-2010 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, gentlemen, that sounds consistent with what the fellow told me. So, it sounds like the building was being used for storage rather than as a training facility. The consoles in that building were the ones that eventually ended up in the Apollo 8 Firing Room exhibit at the Saturn V Center.

Given the rather incomplete collection of console functions that I saw in doing my inventory of the Apollo 8 exhibit, and knowing that they all came from that 'training' building, I couldn't figure out how NASA could run a meaningful training sim with a handful of jumbled panels and functions. So it sounds like the consoles were pulled from the FR during renovation for the Shuttle program and then stored at this building for eventual display or other use.

Incidentally, the standing racks for the data recorders in the Apollo 8 exhibit appear to be Mercury/Gemini/early Apollo-Saturn vintage. They had CCAFS equipment tags. They were stored at the VAB before being pulled for the exhibit.

SpaceKSC
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Posts: 6
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 12-25-2010 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It sounds to me like he's describing the old tourist stop back in the days before the Saturn V Center was built.

I recently found a home video I filmed in 1991 of the KSC bus tour. That's exactly what was depicted. Tourists were ushered into a room with a LM mockup, a leftover command and service module, and some other stuff. After watching a brief orientation film, we were led into a reconstruction of the firing room which re-enacted the Apollo 8 launch.

As noted above, all that was moved over to the Saturn V Center when it opened.

So I don't think he was in a "training facility." He was in the tourist stop.

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

posted 12-25-2010 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually the building being described was a training building as it had the CM and LM simulators in there. In later years the massive simulators were removed but a LEM and CM were left in there and it was part of the tour. I used to tell a buddy of mine I wished they left the massive "train wreck" looking simulators in place. There was a lot of history in that room.

Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-02-2011 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I have read, it seems like that the Apollo-Saturn Center at KSC does not have 100% authentic Apollo-era consoles or am I misinterpreting the info?

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 01-02-2011 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch control panels at the Saturn V Center are 100% authentic, and come from the Launch Control Complex Firing Rooms. Please don't get me wrong - these are fascinating pieces of history. It's just that KSC did not transplant the entire Firing Room into this exhibit.

There were over 400 panels and consoles in each of the three Apollo-era Firing Rooms. The Apollo 8 exhibit in the Saturn V Center has about 100 control panels, so it's clearly not an "intact" Firing Room.

For example, in Firing Room 1 during the Apollo 8 launch, there were 16 control panels for the S-II stage in the engines and networks row. The Apollo 8 exhibit in the Saturn V Center only has 4 of those control panels.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-03-2011 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As said earlier in another post of mine, it was the old Flight Crew Training Building (FCTB) located on the eastern side of KSC's Industrial Area that initiated this tpoic.

Now referred to as the Engineering Development Laboratory (EDL), starting in the late 70s, tours were conducted from the old Spaceport USA that included a stop here where visitors could see simulations of an Apollo launch and lunar landing.

The EDL facility currently houses many engineering research labs, such as the Hazardous Gas Detection Laboratory, the Transducer Qualification & Instrumentation Test lab, along with the Fast Response Testing & Electronic Security Development lab, to name a few.

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