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  Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities
Jim Behling
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posted 12-06-2011 02:58 PM     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:
What is Hangar S being used for today?
It use to be for Life Support (SCAPE suit) support.

LM-12
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posted 12-07-2011 04:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not understand why the "NASA Manned Spacecraft Center" designation was removed from Hangar S. It should have been kept on the hangar as a "plaque" in recognition of the significant role that the building played during Project Mercury. Why take it down? They should have kept the NASA designation on Hangar S for historical purposes - even if the facility was just used for storage.

xlsteve
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posted 12-07-2011 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
I do not understand why the "NASA Manned Spacecraft Center" designation was removed from Hangar S.
I think it was probably removed when the MSC was moved to Houston, and then the hangar was used for other purposes and the sign didn't make sense. I agree there probably should be a sign indicating that it was once there.

Jim Behling
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posted 12-07-2011 08:28 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:
I do not understand why the "NASA Manned Spacecraft Center" designation was removed from Hangar S.
Because Hangar S was turned over to NASA ULO (Unmanned Launch Operations, who had their own sign after Mercury. Lunar Orbiters, BIOS, HEOS and other spacecraft were processed in it. MSC no longer had a need for it and facilities were at a premium at the time.

They weren't concerned about historical preservation back then, they were in the middle of the space race and needed everything available to beat the Soviets. People don't stand back in the middle of projects and wonder if things should be preserved if there is still ongoing work.

Hangars and facilities were changing hands and supporting multiple projects in those days. The Mercury Project may have ended but manned program was ramping up with Gemini and Apollo. So there was no real ending unlike the shuttle.

LM-12
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posted 12-07-2011 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard that Hangar S is not even mentioned on the KSC 'Then and Now' tour. Is that correct? Has anyone taken the tour recently?

Jim Behling
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posted 12-07-2011 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't understand the issue. It would only be a drive-by of a nondescript building (it looks like all the other hangars) and there are more interesting buildings in the area.

LM-12
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posted 12-07-2011 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am just a bit surprised that there is nothing at Hangar S to acknowledge the events of 50 years ago, and that Hangar S would not be included on a tour that emphasizes the history of Cape Canaveral.

Jim Behling
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posted 12-07-2011 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That could be said of many of the facilities.

mjanovec
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posted 12-07-2011 11:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've taken the "Then and Now" tour twice. The first time I took the tour, Hangar S was never mentioned as we drove past. The second time, the bus slowed down a few seconds while the tour guide explained the significance of the hangar. So I think it all depends on the tour guide you get and how knowledgeable they are (or how much they are willing to tell you).

As for Hangar S being a "nondescript building," there are plenty of historic sites at the Cape that aren't much to look at, but it's the kind of stuff that people want to hear about.

LM-12
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posted 12-27-2011 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA photo KSC-63PC-0033 is a nice "Missile Row" shot of Launch Complex 14 and the MA-9 launch vehicle. You can also see the Ready Room just across from the pad blockhouse. The photo is dated about a week before launch.

LM-12
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posted 01-27-2012 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA photo KSC-375C-0604 is an aerial view of the KSC Industrial Area taken in 1975 and looking east. From bottom right, the main buildings seen in the photo are the Central Instrumentation Facility, the KSC Headquarters Building, the MSOB / Operations and Checkout Building and what was the Flight Crew Training Building. You can see the area behind the FCTB where the suited Apollo astronauts trained for lunar surface activities.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 01-27-2012 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
I've taken the "Then and Now" tour twice.
That tour is the one run out of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The Air Force runs its own tour and has access to certain locations the KSC tour does not.

The USAF tour is free, however it only runs on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

LM-12
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posted 02-16-2012 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana gives us an interesting video tour of the Astronaut Crew Quarters in the Operations and Checkout Building.

LM-12
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posted 02-24-2012 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They should fill the walls of the suiting-up room and hallway in the crew quarters with suiting-up and walkout photos of all the Apollo astronauts who prepared for launch there.

Those astronaut photos would more accurately reflect the history of the suiting-up room, and they would be much better than the landscape photos that seem to be hanging there now.

Jim Behling
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posted 02-24-2012 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Huh? Why?
  1. It is not a museum, it is a living area for personnel and place to get ready. There is too much going on and need to relax is important. That is why there are landscapes. There is no need for historical photos.

  2. Why Apollo astronauts? Many, many more shuttle astronauts passed through there.
Not every operational facility has to reflect upon its past history.

Why does space related facilities have to be treated differently than other such as aviation historical sites. Is Roosevelt Field preserved?

LM-12
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posted 02-24-2012 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We obviously disagree on certain things Jim. But that's okay. I think that anyone suiting-up for a launch would find those photos very inspirational.

The walls of the Apollo-era Mission Operation Control Room in Houston are covered with Gemini and Apollo mission emblems to remember past accomplishments. Similarly, the walls of the Shuttle and ISS Flight Control Rooms are covered with shuttle and expedition emblems.

The principle is the same.

Jim Behling
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posted 02-24-2012 07:29 PM     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 principle is the same.
No, the principle is not the same. The emblems in the MOCRs and firing rooms are no different than the silhouettes of launch vehicles on blockhouses or kills on an aircraft noses. They are just records of accomplishments. Crews suiting up don't need inspiration, they are highly motivated people already.

With that said, the past crews don't need any more adoration, they have had plenty and actually too much that it takes away from the mission and the other workers. HSF has way too much emphasis for the return that provides.

LM-12
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posted 03-30-2012 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Industrial Area Construction poster is one of a series of posters from NASA celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Space Center.

Does anyone have a good exterior photo of the Flight Crew Training Building that they could post? The Apollo-era FCTB was also located in the KSC Industrial Area, just east and south of the MSOB. I do not recall ever seeing a good close-up photo of the FCTB that showed the whole building.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-09-2012 10:39 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 LM-12:
It looks like that old Pad 19 Gemini billboard shown in an earlier post has been spruced up a bit...
It appears that this post and the subsequent discussion that it inspired about the errors on the sign attracted the attention of someone who may be able to have it corrected. From Malcom Glenn's most recent Neat Information Update (NIU):
LC-19 Road Sign - The Story Continues. I believe I first wrote about this story some two years ago in the NIU and I thought the case was closed, but such is not the case! Taking a lead from a posting in collectSPACE (neat website by the way!), there are more mistakes with the current sign.

I thought Pete Chitko and I had double and triple checked this sign for correctness last year, but we missed some things. Okay, Pete and I have now checked ourselves several times over and I intend to get with the Director of Operations at CCAFS who I have previously worked with and report the following:

  1. The number of orbits posted for the GT-3, GT-7, GT-9, GT-10, GT-11, and GT-12 missions is incorrect. Pete and I believe the correct numbers should be 3, 206, 47, 43, 44, and 59 respectively.
  2. Tom Stafford's name is spelled incorrectly for the GT-6 mission, note the 't' instead of 'f'.
I will see about getting these mistakes corrected! Lesson Learned: You can never check something enough, whatever it is in life!

PS - The noted Director specifically asked me last year if the information on the Subject Sign was correct and I responded in the affirmative! Also of note, it would appear the 'number of orbits' mistakes are consistent as this is about a 5th generation sign. I checked photos of some of the previous signs and they show the same mistakes!

LM-12
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posted 04-09-2012 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am impressed that the people at CCAFS are so determined to get the sign right, rather than just leaving it the way it is now with the mistakes.

mgspacecadet
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posted 05-15-2012 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mgspacecadet   Click Here to Email mgspacecadet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stopped by LC-19 today and noted Tom Stafford's name has been corrected on the subject sign; reference previous posting. Of the previously noted mistakes, this is the most important one that needed to be corrected in my mind! Thank you to whoever did this!

LM-12
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posted 05-15-2012 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Gemini billboard outlasted the Apollo launch billboard that was at LC-39A.

(There is a photo of that Apollo billboard - now gone - on this thread.)

Ken Havekotte
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posted 05-15-2012 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good to see Stafford's name corrected, however, "Jr." has not been added after the names of Schirra and Lovell. All others with a "Jr." afterwards were included except for these two. Not too much of a big deal, but why have it for others (Cooper, Conrad, Gordon and Aldrin)?

APG85
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posted 05-15-2012 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back to the Crew Quarters video. I'm surprised (well, maybe not) that the bedroom furniture is the same cheap, uncomfortable stuff you see an any military billeting room. I would have thought they would spend the extra dime for something a little more comfortable. Those desk chairs will break your back if you sit in them for any length of time...

LM-12
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posted 05-15-2012 07:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suppose that the Crew Quarters and all the other rooms as seen in the video tour will eventually be gone and replaced as a result of the major renovations currently underway inside the Operations and Checkout Building.

Jim Behling
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posted 05-15-2012 09:18 PM     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 APG85:
I'm surprised (well, maybe not) that the bedroom furniture is the same cheap, uncomfortable stuff you see an any military billeting room.
Why? They are gov't employees, so why should they be treated any different than the military or other gov't workers?

Jim Behling
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posted 05-15-2012 09:20 PM     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:
I suppose that the Crew Quarters and all the other rooms as seen in the video tour will eventually be gone...
No, the renovations are for the north half of the building. And the renovations have been going on in phases for more than five years, starting way before the video was taken.

APG85
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posted 05-15-2012 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
Why? They are gov't employees, so why should they be treated any different than the military or other gov't workers?
Oh I don't know... let's see. You don't typically go into a VIP's quarters on base and see low quality, billeting room style furniture like that... not typically. I've seen much better myself and I'm a lowly CMSgt. I would think if you were about to journey into space, you would have a slightly better bed and desk set than one out of the GSA catalog. Just my opinion...

LM-12
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posted 05-16-2012 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a KSC news release dated 03.12.12.
The new laboratory building will enable a complete gut and renovate project for the South Wing of the Operations and Checkout (O&C) building similar to the current one on the north wing of the O&C.

Jim Behling
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posted 05-16-2012 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The new laboratory building isn't scheduled for years and so the south wing of the O&C won't be touched for even longer. And nothing says that the astronaut quarters will be moved.
quote:
Originally posted by APG85:
You don't typically go into a VIP's quarters on base and see low quality, billeting room style furniture like that... not typically.
They aren't VIP's. They aren't anymore special than other workers. Astronauts from TFNG's and on are not that exceptional within the aerospace community.

mgspacecadet
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posted 07-27-2012 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mgspacecadet   Click Here to Email mgspacecadet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mgspacecadet:
I stopped by LC-19 today and noted Tom Stafford's name has been corrected on the subject sign
Tom Stafford's name has now been officially/professionally fixed. There was a pen and ink fix in place, as earlier noted.

LM-12
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posted 07-27-2012 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good to see that corrected Malcolm. I think Mr. Stafford would be pleased.

LM-12
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posted 07-31-2012 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like Hangar S is on the demolition list as mentioned in this Florida Today article.
The space agency is in the midst of a post-shuttle era examination of all its facilities at KSC and Cape Canaveral. The goal: Determine which facilities will be needed to move ahead with the development of new rockets and spacecraft for deep space missions; which facilities might entice commercial space taxi companies, and which facilities no longer have a reason for being.

"Unfortunately, there are some buildings that aren't sustainable anymore, some that we can't really afford to maintain," said Tom Engler, deputy manager of the Center Planning and Development Office at KSC.

"This is a 60-plus-year-old building. It has a lot of maintenance issues, and it's actually beneficial to the center to put them on the abandon list and then eventually demolish them because they are too expensive for us to maintain."

The annual operating cost at Hangar S: $148,000.

hlbjr
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posted 07-31-2012 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We need to get a tour together for one last look inside this building. I have wanted to visit this site for 25 years and have not yet been able to do so. I think it's vital we get a chance to see it for ourselves before it is demolished.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-31-2012 08:20 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 hlbjr:
We need to get a tour together for one last look inside this building.
A nice idea, maybe even doable, but as the article explains, there may not be much to see...
Today, Hangar S is a gutted shadow of its former self.

There’s a wide-open concrete slab floor where Mercury and Gemini capsules were checked out.

Behind that lies an area NASA turned into a training facility, where engineers and technicians learned to operate and maintain the shuttle’s twin maneuvering engines and steering jets.

Climb the stairs on the south end of the building to the old Mercury crew quarters. NASA transformed the area into offices. Now it’s an abandoned mess.

There’s no telling where the astronaut’s sleeping quarters were located; where the kitchen and dining area were; where the medical facilities were or the suit-up room.

The only thing of historical value seems to be the memories.

413 is in
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posted 07-31-2012 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 413 is in   Click Here to Email 413 is in     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that's sad news indeed about Hangar S on the demolition list. If those walls could talk!

LM-12
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posted 07-31-2012 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Mercury Mission Contol Center, Hangar S, the original KSC Headquarters Building ... it is very sad to see all these landmark facilities at the Cape disappear one by one.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-31-2012 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As much as I would love to have all of Cape Canaveral preserved/restored to the way it was in the 1960s, I'm not sure that any of these buildings can be considered landmarks. They played historic roles, of that there is no disagreement, but I tend to doubt that most space enthusiasts, let alone the general public, could recognize any of these buildings as compared to the launch pads or undisputed landmarks such as the Vehicle Assembly Building.

KSC Headquarters is an office building, the Mercury Mission Control was more famous for its interior than its exterior or location, and Hangar S has been retrofitted to the point of its historic layout being lost to progress.

If NASA was better funded, and this was less a budgetary concern than it is, then I would certainly support Hangar S being saved. But if the choice is between funding programs that can write new chapters in history or preserving a building that the majority of the public cannot visit due to the surrounding area being an active military base, I think I would rather focus any remaining resources on saving key landmarks like LC-19, which is being reclaimed by nature with every passing day.

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me echo some of what Robert said. Hangar S was one of more than a dozen Missile Assembly Buildings (MAB's AKA hangars) at CCAFS. The design was generic and was used by many programs. The hangars may have been modified by the programs assigned to them. But these mods were added and subtracted as programs changed. What Hangar S was in the 60's is no longer applicable to today. There is no point in preserving it, since it doesn't represent Hangar S of Mercury. However, in the future, I do believe it is important to preserve at least one of the original hangars (MAB's).

This brings up something I have been trying to do. I have been half heartedly looking for the original specifications/layouts/drawings of the MAB's. They were extensively used at CCAFS but they were also used at the Atlas (and maybe Titan) ICBM bases. Similarly, there was another type of MAB used at VAFB.

I know this forum has a manned spaceflight flavor/tendencies but I was wondering who else would be interested in this area of spaceflight history?

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 12:51 PM     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 original KSC Headquarters Building
That isn't being demolished. It still exists on CCAFS and is being used by the 45th Space Wing.


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