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  KSC Up-Close Tour: Vehicle Assembly Building (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   KSC Up-Close Tour: Vehicle Assembly Building
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-24-2011 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
NASA invites public to tour its voluminous Vehicle Assembly Building

With no more space shuttles to build up for launch and years to go before its next-generation heavy-lift rocket is ready to fly, NASA is reopening its 52 story Vehicle Assembly Building to the public after more than three decades of it being closed for general tours.

Beginning next month, visitors to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be able to purchase tickets for a new "Up-Close" tour, which in addition to busing spectators to see launch pads and other facilities around the spaceport, will take them in the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB...

GACspaceguy
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posted 10-24-2011 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great News!!!

Fezman92
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posted 10-24-2011 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope this will still be going on for a few years because I plan to go down there when I finish my community college which should be in 2013ish or so.

Greggy_D
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posted 10-24-2011 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Currently KSC offers two tours:
  1. Discover KSC: Today & Tomorrow Tour
  2. Cape Canaveral: Then & Now Tour
Are either of these tours being replaced/modified by the "KSC Up-Close" tour?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-24-2011 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Cape Canaveral: Then & Now tour will continue to be offered. The press release announcing the new KSC Up-Close tour makes no mention of the Today & Tomorrow tour, leading me to believe that it is being replaced by this new tour.

I've asked for clarification from the Visitor Complex.

xlsteve
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posted 10-24-2011 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is pretty cool, and just in time for the ASF show.

On edit: I was able to make a reservation for the tour easily by calling KSC at 866-737-5235.

onesmallstep
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posted 10-24-2011 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will the firing rooms next to the VAB be included in the new tour?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-24-2011 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, the Launch Control Center is only included on the tour so much as you drive by it as you pass the Press Site and Vehicle Assembly Building.

ilbasso
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posted 10-24-2011 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Outstanding news! Can't wait to see it!

GACspaceguy
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posted 10-24-2011 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moments after Robert's post Jackie was on the phone and we are on the new Up-Close Tour for Friday Nov 4 1:20PM. She called and asked for the Up-Close Tour specifically and had no issues booking it. It would be great to get a bus load of cS folks who are down for the ASF signing. What a great weekend this is going to be!

ilbasso
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posted 10-25-2011 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, when I called and made reservations and I couldn't remember the exact name of the tour, she said, "You want the VAB tour, right?" Bingo!

MCroft04
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posted 10-25-2011 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a reservation for 10:00 AM on Nov 3. Look for a tall cS'er if you're also on this tour.

Cozmosis22
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posted 10-26-2011 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Man, it would be nice to see one of the orbiters in the VAB!

So, sometime before next April will have to make way for a trek to the Cape to bid farewell to one fine spaceship.

xlsteve
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posted 11-09-2011 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cozmosis22:
Man, it would be nice to see one of the orbiters in the VAB!
Here's a photo I took on Saturday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-10-2011 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those touring the Vehicle Assembly Building over the next couple of months will continue seeing Endeavour...
Endeavour's swap with Atlantis between Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building and the Orbiter Processing Facility-2 will move from this month to no earlier than January.

The delay will allow for more efficient processing as technicians finish work on Atlantis that will require power.

GACspaceguy
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posted 11-10-2011 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info as were trying to figure out when we could go back again this year. January is a wait but better for our planning.

SpaceDust
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posted 11-10-2011 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceDust     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't understand the scheduling for this tour. It seems it runs almost daily through the end of the year, but after that it is pretty sporadic. According to KSCVC website, in January it will only run 12 days out of the whole month and 7 days for February. I've emailed them to find out about January since I will be there at the end of the month, but haven't heard back from them yet. I'm going to give them until Monday before I start calling about this. Does anyone have any information on this?

Days in January the KSCVC website shows the "Up, Close" tour: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27

Days in February: 1, 9, 13, 18, 24, 28, 29

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-10-2011 03:07 PM     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 SpaceDust:
Does anyone have any information on this?
For questions like this, the best thing to do is to call. I just did and it was explained that they are still in the process of scheduling the months of January and February.

As noted on the website, the number of daily departures varies based on operational requirements. Individual days' schedules must be approved by NASA.

GACspaceguy
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posted 11-10-2011 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When you call to book make sure they understand it is the Up Close tour you want. They are still (or were last week) the Today and Tomorrow tour that goes to the VAB as part of the tour and not in it. That happened to us. My wife booked and was told it was the Up Close tour but when we got on the bus we found out is was the Today and Tomorrow tour. We got off and worked it out but the only way we would have known was if we had checked our actual ticket to see the name. The special name badge they give you is not different (again at least last week it was not).

Just a word of warning “trust, but verify”.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-29-2011 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the Visitor Complex's promotional video for the KSC Up-Close Tour featuring the Vehicle Assembly Building...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-13-2012 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis will join Endeavour inside the Vehicle Assembly Building for about a week and a half.

Atlantis' rollover is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20. Endeavour is currently scheduled to depart the VAB on (or about) Feb. 1.

If you were planning on making a special trip to go on this tour, this might be the time to do it...

spaceheaded
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posted 01-20-2012 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceheaded     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heading down for the tour. Got tickets for Sunday, Jan. 29. Hopefully both orbiters will be there! Last saw the VAB interior in '76. Once was not enough.

Gotta love cS. So many, many opportunities over the years learned about here. Thank you Robert!

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 01-22-2012 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Walked in the north door of the VAB yesterday. Atlantis was right there, nose first, pointing towards the door.

The orbiter ventilation truck is attached to Atlantis and making quite a noise!

The left wing of Atlantis sticks out over where guests are allowed to walk. You can stand under Atlantis and take pictures of Endeavour:

The last day to see both is January 31.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2012 01:11 PM     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 SpaceKSCBlog:
The last day to see both is January 31.
The last day to see both is now Jan. 30. Endeavour will begin its roll to Orbiter Processing Facility-2 at 8 a.m. on Jan. 31.

Following Endeavour's move, shuttle Atlantis will be moved from the VAB transfer aisle to take Endeavour's place in the building's high bay 4.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 01-26-2012 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How long will Atlantis be at the VAB?

Ben
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posted 01-26-2012 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis will be in HB4 until sometime in March, when Discovery will take its place.

The best time was definitely this current week, as visitors were allowed to walk right underneath it in the transfer aisle.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2012 11:32 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 Robert Pearlman:
The last day to see both is now Jan. 30.
And it's changed again. The last day is now (again) Jan. 31.

On Feb. 1, shuttle Endeavour will move from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Orbiter Processing Facility-2 (OPF-2). First motion of Endeavour is set for about 8 a.m. EST.

On Feb. 2, shuttle Atlantis will be moved from the VAB transfer aisle into the building's high bay 4. The start of Atlantis' move currently is under review.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-01-2012 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour was moved to OPF-2 today (Feb. 1), as planned.

Atlantis' move from the the VAB transfer aisle to High Bay 4, which had been scheduled for tomorrow (Feb. 2), has been postponed due to a minor issue with ground support equipment. A new move date has not been scheduled yet. will still proceed as planned on Feb. 2 beginning at noon.

Space GeekFL
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posted 02-01-2012 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space GeekFL   Click Here to Email Space GeekFL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I went to KSC this past weekend and saw both shuttles in the VAB. I took my grandchildren because they have seen several launches on tv and a few in person. At 9 and 4 years old they were more excited to see them than I thought they would be. My granddaughter even told astronaut Tom Jones that she was going to walk on Mars. It was a great day and I am glad I had the opportunity to go.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 02-13-2012 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got to see Atlantis as part of the tour. Was really temped to run next door and see Endeavour and Discovery in the OPF, but those security guards kinda deterred me.

Even if I didn't get a chance to see Atlantis, the tour would have been well worth it. Saw things not on the original tour, like 39A from closer than the 39A/B visitor's center (we were told to wave at the people there as we drove by them As a bonus, got to see Explorer as we drove by it as well.

In addition to the pink stickers for the tour, we got a lanyard with a VIP/KSC Up-Close Tour badge. Add to that I was wearing my commander's pass I won (and claimed that day) and my NASA HQ polo, and carrying both a video and still camera, well, I was pretty much a Space Geek that day.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 02-25-2012 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Orion boilerplate that flew the Pad Abort-1 test was delivered yesterday to the KSC Vehicle Assembly Building:

I believe it's going to be on display as part of the KSC Up Close tour through the end of March, but haven't seen anything official.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-05-2012 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Discovery and Atlantis will trade places this Friday, March 9.

Discovery will move from its current location, Orbiter Processing Facility-1 (OPF-1), and be parked between OPF-1 and the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Shuttle Atlantis will be moved from the VAB to take Discovery's place in OPF-1. Discovery will then be stored temporarily in the VAB until April.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-14-2012 12:23 PM     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 SpaceKSCBlog:
I believe it's going to be on display as part of the KSC Up Close tour through the end of March, but haven't seen anything official.
Indeed, the Orion Pad Abort-1 capsule is now on display inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, near space shuttle Discovery.

Go4Launch
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posted 03-14-2012 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what the big red ring painted in the middle of the transfer aisle (as seen in the pano shot in the previous post) indicates? It has been there since Apollo.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-06-2012 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The AstroVan has been moved into the Vehicle Assembly Building, to be part of the display visitors see on the KSC Up-Close Tour.

onesmallstep
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posted 04-06-2012 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos of Discovery 'flying the flag' one last time before she heads north to Dulles in less than two weeks (where I'll be, of course!). And the Astrovan is a nice touch.

A question: is the Discovery flag attached to the nose one of several used, and not necessarily the same one(s) flown from flagpoles at KSC sites or the launch pads?

MCroft04
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posted 04-06-2012 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That picture really puts the size of the shuttle into perspective!

Ben
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posted 04-06-2012 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And it might be worth noting that this is likely the final week to ever see a space shuttle inside the VAB...

In case anyone is still hesitating about taking that tour.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 04-07-2012 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Go4Launch:
Does anyone know what the big red ring painted in the middle of the transfer aisle (as seen in the pano shot in the previous post) indicates?
I'm told it represents a place where the concrete floor is reinforced to hold the weight of a water tank used to test the cables on the cranes.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 04-07-2012 06:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by onesmallstep:
A question: is the Discovery flag attached to the nose one of several used, and not necessarily the same one(s) flown from flagpoles at KSC sites or the launch pads?
I believe it's one of the souvenir flags available to employees. It didn't fly on the flagpole at the launch site.

A former KSC employee got me flags for all the orbiters before she retired, and it looks like one of those.


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