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  Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities
LM-12
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posted 11-11-2011 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Falcon will be launching Dragon spacecraft paid for by NASA to carry supplies to the International Space Station.
If NASA is paying for Dragon, would Falcon launches fall under the heading of NASA flights or commercial flights?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-11-2011 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a commercial rocket carrying a NASA payload on a NASA mission. The same situation exists whenever Atlas V or Delta IV carries NASA payloads.

Jim Behling
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posted 11-11-2011 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
The Atlas 5 has launched NASA spacecraft like MRO, LRO and JUNO. The Delta 4 is planned to launch the NASA MPCV Orion spacecraft.
Those were commercially procured launches. ULA still owns the launch vehicle.

NASA paid about $250 million for the development of Falcon 9 and Dragon. And will spend about $1 billion in SpaceX cargo flights to the ISS.

LM-12
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posted 11-11-2011 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a NASA image of Cape Canaveral taken in 1963 that shows the Mercury Mission Control Center undergoing renovations and Missile Row in the distance. The photo was taken shortly after MA-9. The building expansion was for Gemini.

LM-12
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posted 11-13-2011 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The astronauts' famous beach house is on Missile Row between LC-40 and LC-41. Was it used by the Mercury and Gemini astronauts, or just later crews?

Jim Behling
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posted 11-13-2011 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Later crews. It was used for many things before that.

By the way, Missile Row only describes complexes 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20. Some include 36 and 34, but 40 and 41 are not part of it. They are included in the ITL area.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-13-2011 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, "Missile Row" was also referred to as "ICBM Row" that included all the early Atlas and Titan launch complexes from Pads 11 thru 20, but not 17/18.

Missile Row, though, did include the twin Atlas/Centaur facilities off the Cape's ICBM Road and Central Control Road.

From a prior question on this forum, the astronauts' beach house, located on the Cape's Desoto Beach between Pads 40/41, has been in use by astronauts and their families for more than 45 years.

LM-12
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posted 11-13-2011 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This NASA article includes a few photos of the beach house.

LM-12
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posted 11-15-2011 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was the purpose of the Gemini-Agena test platform shown in NASA photo S65-52015 and where was it located at Cape Canaveral?

Steven Kaplan
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posted 11-15-2011 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steven Kaplan   Click Here to Email Steven Kaplan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure where it at the Cape it was located, but I believe the tower / platform allowed for radio and radar checks between the two spacecraft. Note that the platform was constructed largely of wood to minimize interference.

LM-12
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posted 11-15-2011 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess the testing was done outdoors for a reason as opposed to inside a place like Hangar S for example.

The wooden construction is interesting. There is a similar wooden platform in the Mercury Mission Control Center photo I posted earlier on this page. The wooden platform can be seen next to the MCC radar antenna.

Jim Behling
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posted 11-15-2011 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
...where was it located at Cape Canaveral?
It was located at KSC in the part of the industrial area known as the hypergolics area. Gemini spacecraft were not processed on the Cape. The buildings in the background were later used to service the OMS and RCS pods on the shuttle.

One of them was known at the time as the pyrotechnics installation building. A Gemini spacecraft is shown in it in the book "Apollo Expeditions to the Moon."

LM-12
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posted 11-15-2011 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to get my bearings - that is the same industrial area where the NASA KSC Headquarters building is located. Is that correct?

NASA photo S66-47635 looks like the Gemini photo you are referring to.

Jim Behling
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posted 11-15-2011 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that is the KSC industrial area. There is also a CCAFS industrial area.

LM-12
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posted 11-15-2011 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay - thanks Jim, Steven and Ken. Up until now I thought that the Gemini-Agena wooden test platform was probably located out near the pad somewhere.

LM-12
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posted 11-17-2011 06:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Missile Row launch pads can barely be seen in this NASA KSC-2009-5007 aerial photo of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station industrial area. I believe that is the famous Hangar S in the lower right corner - and Pad 14 in the distance.

Jim Behling
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posted 11-17-2011 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Starting from the lower left, the green empty lot is where Hangar L was. Hangar L was where life science payloads were prepared and where the Challenger astronaut remains brought after recovery. Next is Hangar M, where Thor and Delta hardware was staged. Building AO is in the lower middle. That is where many of the early JPL spacecraft were prepared. It was turned over to the Delta program for first and second stage checkout. It now has been turned over to SpaceX. The next building is AM, another non hazardous payload processing facility. The building between Hangar S and Building AM is Building AE, home to the NASA ELV Mission Director Center, telemetry station, Launch Vehicle Data Centers and small 10K cleanroom. Hangar AF is out of the view.

The upper radome in the middle is a GPS ground station and the buildings above it are NRO facilities. The building in the upper right corner of the industrial area is the new fire station which replaced the original industrial area station located the corner of the four way down the way from the new station. The old range control center is located in the upper left corner of the industrial area.

LM-12
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posted 11-17-2011 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the tour Jim.

It is interesting to see the Central Control Road view from both ends.

413 is in
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posted 11-17-2011 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 413 is in   Click Here to Email 413 is in     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, nice tour Jim. You can also match things up with this map of the CCAFS industrial area from November 1992.

LM-12
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posted 11-17-2011 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found another CCAFS view that includes Hangar AF where the Shuttle SRBs were taken after launch. It is NASA photo KSC-2009-5008. Those are STS-128 boosters.

Great map - looks like Hangar N was also a NASA SRB hangar.

LM-12
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posted 11-19-2011 01:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like that old Pad 19 Gemini billboard shown in an earlier post has been spruced up a bit - as can be seen on this ASF Facebook page.

hlbjr
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posted 11-19-2011 06:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Notice Stafford's name is misspelled in one instance.

LM-12
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posted 11-19-2011 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you look closely on the old billboard, you can see that there is a screw or a bolt covering the top of the first "f" in the "Stafford" name. The guy who made the new sign probably thought it was a "t" and re-painted it that way.

I guess he didn't notice that Stafford flew twice on Gemini.

LM-12
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posted 11-20-2011 04:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The recovered 51-L Challenger debris is stored in an old missile silo at Pad 31B. Pad 31B is located near the Cape Lighthouse.

Tom
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posted 11-20-2011 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
It looks like that old Pad 19 Gemini billboard shown in an earlier post has been spruced up a bit
I find it very unusual that of the 10 manned Gemini missions listed, six have number of orbits listed incorrect. Should be:
  • GT-3: 3
  • GT-7: 206
  • GT-9: 45
  • GT-10: 43
  • GT-11: 44
  • GT-12: 59

LM-12
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posted 11-20-2011 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe one number refers to orbits and the other refers to revs. They are not quite the same. I think that an orbit is slightly longer because it takes into account the Earth's rotation. But I am not an expert on the subject.

Perhaps somebody who has studied orbital mechanics can explain it better.

Jim Behling
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posted 11-20-2011 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The sign is mislabeled. Gemini did use revs vs orbits back then.

A revolution was counted when the spacecraft passed over the same longitude as the launch site. In inertial space, the revolution is longer distance traveled since the earth has rotated about 15 degrees for a low orbits. A orbit is counted every time the spacecraft crosses the equator on ascending node.

LM-12
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posted 11-21-2011 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Copy that Jim - equator and longitude. I guess what we need now is a Gemini list that includes both orbits and revs to avoid the confusion.

LM-12
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posted 11-24-2011 06:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Before the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility was built, where did the Gemini and Apollo astronauts normally land their T-38 jets prior to launch? Did they make use of the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip or did they always land at Patrick AFB further south?

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-24-2011 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Normally at Patrick AFB as the base was more suited in supporting continuous aircraft operations there.

Later in the week I'll post a report of when I met John Young after he landed his T-38 at Patrick on the north-side runway's apron.

Once he shut down the engine, unbuckled his restriant straps and stepped down from the Talon's cockpit, it was just him and me!

LM-12
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posted 11-24-2011 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look forward to hearing that story Ken. What was the year?

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-24-2011 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was back during the mid-1970s when I was a young college student. I had met him earlier at the university I was attending in Cocoa/Orlando.

LM-12
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posted 11-24-2011 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About half (15) of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo flights splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. The crews returning to Cape Canaveral would often land at the CCAFS skid strip.

garymilgrom
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posted 11-24-2011 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look forward to Ken's story too! We're lucky to have these people who were "at the scene" so many years ago on this forum.

J.L
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posted 11-24-2011 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken has shared this story with me... it is a good one.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-24-2011 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
The crews returning to Cape Canaveral would often land at the CCAFS skid strip.
No, for instance, all the Mercury flown astronauts did not immediately return back to the Cape area after their splashdowns.

For both MR-3/4, the pilot-astronauts were flown from their Atlantic recovery areas to Grand Bahama Island for a two-day post-flight medical check and debriefing.

Once finished, in fact, they flew into Patrick AFB (not the Cape skid strip) for a big heroes welcome at the air base, followed by a motorcade parade downtown Cocoa Beach, and ending up at the Cape missile test annex away from the general public.

The same can be said for Glenn and Carpenter as well. After splashdown, the pilot-astronauts were flown to Grank Turk Island of the British West Indies for their post-flight medical checks and mission debrief-interview reports.

Next stop almost three days later for the first Americans to orbit the Earth, was not Cape Canaveral, but again Patrick AFB for a big returning space hero celebration, a parade downtown Cocoa Beach, and ending up at the old Cape station.

LM-12
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posted 11-25-2011 05:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Note that I did say often land at CCAFS, and not always land.

Some of the post-flight Gemini crews landed at the CCAFS skid strip.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-25-2011 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you referring to a first-time returning crew from a just-recovered spaceflight mission?

If so, however, just about all the returning earlier spaceflight crews would fly into Patrick for a number of reasons and not the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip.

Yes, at times, crew members did fly into the Cape's skid strip, but normally the air base at Patrick was their primary "Cape base" of aircraft flight operations.

Even when Apollo crews would fly from Texas to Florida for their final launch preps, almost always, the astronaut flight crews would land at Patrick.

LM-12
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posted 11-25-2011 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are some photos out there showing the crews of Gemini 3, 6A, 10, 11 and 12 arriving at the Cape Canaveral skid strip, and the astronauts are wearing their blue flight coveralls, running shoes, baseball hats and making speeches. Sure looks like those photos were taken shortly after the flights. The photo descriptions mention the skid strip.

I can post the photo numbers for you Ken if you like.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-25-2011 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, you are correct, as some of the returning-home Gemini crews did in fact land at the Cape skid strip after their ocean recoveries in the Atlantic.

It was a reversal role than from prior Mercury pilots when coming back to Florida after their space voyages in 1965-66.

Two days after splashdown, some Gemini crews were flown back to Florida in a slower transport aircraft.

They would undergo more physical examinations and engineering debriefings.

Next up would be a motorcade parade, but this time heading south instead of north -- from the Cape to Cocoa Beach, and ending up with a press conference at the Gemini News Center.


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