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  Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities
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.

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 01:49 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 hlbjr:
We need to get a tour together for one last look inside this building.
Just walked through it. If it wasn't for the sign outside, you couldn't tell which hangar you are in, except for the shuttle era cleanrooms in back of the high bay, which were deactivated years ago.

The rooms are filled with typical gov't office furniture from all the past decades. And one could not tell which hangar this was from the layout.

LM-12
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posted 07-31-2012 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
the Mercury Mission Control was more famous for its interior than its exterior or location

I think there is a lot of historical significance where these events took place, including the buildings.

For example, seeing the relocated and recreated Mercury Flight Control Room displayed at the KSC Visitor Complex is not quite the same as seeing that same Mercury Flight Control Room displayed (had they done that) at its original location, the Mercury Mission Control Center building.

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 07:37 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 think there is a lot of historical significance where these events took place, including the buildings.
That is completely wrong. It is the same.
There is no historical significance of the original Mercury Control Center building. Its actual location provides no additional context. The building isn't significant, it is the control center, which was preserved.

If you want follow your line of reasoning, then the building should be preserved as TEL-III, the original use of the building.

YankeeClipper
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posted 07-31-2012 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
I think there is a lot of historical significance where these events took place, including the buildings.

Agreed.
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.
Watch the Florida Today video clip, Jack King seems to know the layout. How about asking Scott Carpenter, John Glenn or Dee O'Hara to go back to Hangar S and recreate the layout from memory? Didn't NASA have an oral history project to preserve such memories? This cS thread gives a good starting point.
The only thing of historical value seems to be the memories.
Flawed thinking and terrible lack of perspective. How about the walls, doors, roof, signage (especially the S sign)? Just the other night on CBS News, I watched a piece on preserving artifacts from the American Revolution and they had George Washington's actual campaign tent carefully preserved. As Jack King alluded, Hangar S is one of two iconic buildings from the birth of human spaceflight.

Billions have been spent on preserving financial "institutions", yet Hangar S is to be razed? It's the classic case of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. On a tour of CCAFS, that is one of the signature buildings visitors want to see as the fundamental structure is original and authentic (a 60 year old building) and its history important.

Here are some possible alternative options:

  1. KSC Visitor Complex has roughly 1.5 million visitors a year. Why not add $1 per visitor to the admission price (or divert $1 per visitor from Delaware North's profits) to go into a historic preservation fund for the renovation, restoration, and preservation of facilities such as Hangar S and LC-19?

    Done correctly you could also have a recreated interior that could be a brief stop on the authorised tours. A period photo shows the lounge was spartan and not costly to recreate. The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas is essentially an authentic shell with replica book cartons, period artifacts etc. Its the location and the history within the walls that really counts.

  2. Any entrepreneurs out there want to salvage Hangar S to use as part of a space-themed bar/restaurant close to KSC? I'm sure a creative architect could incorporate authentic hangar materials into the design. You could even call the place Hangar S.

  3. At least preserve the main S signage for museum display. Any authentic original metal could be recast into saleable medallions/souvenirs. Recycle what remains if possible. Look to the experience in the UK when iconic football stadia close for renovation. Fans go mad for buying individual seats, signs, pieces of turf etc. Revenue generated from souvenirs could be used to help preserve LC-19.
Hangar S is a hidden gem and an untapped resource - in fact it is a brand that hasn't been exploited. The name and history is iconic - you could merchandise the heck out of it.

Wanton demolition of Hangar S with zero regard for historical preservation is a serious mistake that shouldn't be made. In years to come people will be mad at the lack of foresight.

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 08:51 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 YankeeClipper:
Hangar S is a hidden gem and an untapped resource - in fact it is a brand that hasn't been exploited. The name and history is iconic - you could merchandise the heck out of it.
Not so. Outside of the people that frequent this forum (a very small group), nobody else knows anything about Hangar S. Even the most of workers at KSC or CCAFS don't even know its history. It has no cache and it isn't brand that would make money with John Q. Public.

Like I said, there is nothing on the inside that tells you that you are in Hangar S. The pedigree on the items inside are unknown. The facility has been remodeled, refurbished, reconfigured so many times, it is doubtful that you could tell if anything is from the 1950's outside of the basic structure.

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 08:53 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 YankeeClipper:
How about the walls, doors, roof, signage (especially the S sign)?
Generic gov't procured facility, one of many. Switch the sign and there is no difference

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-31-2012 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to any signage, small artifacts — NASA routinely checks with its own artifact managers, the Smithsonian and local relevant organizations (in this case, it might include the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation) to survey sites before they are demolished.

While it is not always as thorough as I might prefer, the process does result in key pieces being saved. Such was done with the Mercury Control Center, and with Pad 39B.

Jim Behling
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posted 07-31-2012 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will take some photos within the next few days to show that there is nothing of import to look at or to preserve.

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-01-2012 12:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
...nobody else knows anything about Hangar S. Even the most of workers at KSC or CCAFS don't even know its history. It has no cache and it isn't brand that would make money with John Q. Public.
Perfect — something "new" that is in fact quite "old" and steeped in history. Sure you have to invest a bit to create the product/experience, then creatively educate people and market it, but it's very possible. The fact that the building is essentially empty is a plus in some ways as it makes renovation/conversion easier.

It's a great opportunity to exploit nostalgia for all things retro- and from the 50s/60s. Think of all those Baby Boomers coming up on retirement who want reminding of the heady days of early spaceflight. Think of all the kids who don't know anything about what it felt like back at that time.

On a forum recently, somebody described what Cocoa Beach was like at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis when people thought Patrick AFB was going to be nuked.

The past is a different world — take people there. You don't have to travel to Edwards AFB to get the Right Stuff experience - it can be right there at Hangar S.

Take them on a trip back in time with a period soundtrack, period products in a faithfully recreated interior with voices/images of the Mercury Astronauts. Recreate the crew lounge, altitude test chamber, white room, medical station, chimp cages etc. Re-emphasize the dangers of early spaceflight when so much was unknown.

The North door through which astronauts passed on their way to the launch pad is a great little feature in itself. The whole place could be given a launch day theme and visitors taken through that process from the astronaut's perspective.

Once the up-close tours finish at the end of 2012, that revenue is lost. You have to exploit alternatives. Hangar S would provide visitors with access to an authentic historical location with facilities normally out-of-bounds.

If the NYPD and NYFD can merchandise their logos, then I'm sure NASA can merchandise a new brand line - Hangar S - that plays on the whole Right Stuff angle.

Alternatively, if parts of Hangar S ended up in a themed bar/restaurant with appropriate features and great memorabilia, you would have no problem merchandising that brand. Especially if it became the hangout of choice of space workers of the future.

All of the above are just suggestions, rough ideas, not defined finalized concepts. NASA have so much potential in that building - most businesses would kill for a backstory like it. NASA has a rich legacy there that it's just not fully exploiting.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2012 12:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has control of the building, but the land and the surrounding area is the purview of the U.S. Air Force. What you describe is wonderful but ignores that Hangar S is located squarely inside an active military base.

The Air Force already restricts the number of tourists that the Visitor Complex can bring within its gates.

Even if the Air Force were to step out of the way, the Visitor Complex is not so flush with cash that it could just pick up such a project immediately. It is currently investing $100 million in the construction of the new space shuttle Atlantis exhibit, which is just one part of its 10-year master plan.

So where does the $148,000 per year needed to maintain Hangar S come from until the Visitor Complex can begin work on the new attraction? And is that the best investment for the money? What about the other historic sites — like the early launch pads — that would easily draw a larger audience than a hangar and are already landmarks?

LM-12
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posted 08-01-2012 02:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps they could have turned Hangar S into an annex of the KSC Visitor Complex - with displays and exhibits that emphasized the Mercury and Gemini flights that launched from Cape Canaveral.

The KSC Visitor Complex has expanded tremendously since the 1960s. Maybe they could have built one less building at that location to cover the cost of annexing and refurbishing - and saving - Hangar S.

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-01-2012 03:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
What you describe is wonderful but ignores that Hangar S is located squarely inside an active military base.
I'm well aware of the location of Hangar S and the OPSEC implications. I'm not suggesting that the USAF step out of the way - in fact there is nothing stopping this being a long-term joint NASA/USAF/USAF Space & Missile Museum project.

I'm not suggesting a full theme-park level of attraction here. The fact that it's 50s/60s era means we are not talking high spec facilities. Look at the old photos - the crew lounge is spartan. The medical station has a few cabinets, an exam table, very basic equipment. A few chimp cages. That doesn't take long to recreate. The whole project can be done in stages over a few years if necessary, getting successively better over time.

Initially the tour would have access to the hangar. Not much to see now. This is a long-term preservation project. Over the years, there would be more to see.

It seems to me there would be three main issues:

  1. Contractor Security

    Use the existing USAF SOP for external contractor screening for the required renovation works. NASA gets the bill.

  2. Building Security

    Isolate Hangar S from the rest of the base with fencing around the building perimeter. One entrance/exit. Tour bus pulls up, x people get off and enter building, 20 min tour, x people exit building and get on, tour bus pulls away.

  3. Visitor Security

    Numbers taking the Then-and-Now tour are already restricted. Put each KSCVC visitor taking the tour through the same level of security screening as the USAF do for their free CCAFS tour. Paid for by NASA and overseen by a USAF guard.

quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Where does the $148,000 per year needed to maintain Hangar S come from until the Visitor Complex can begin work on the new attraction? And is that the best investment for the money?
Levy $1 per visitor ticket as a contribution to a historic sites preservation fund i.e. Hangar S, LC-19 etc. Extra revenue of $1.5 million per fiscal year is created. An extra $4 for a family of four is not going to be a deal-breaker when you consider the high cost of everything at KSCVC.

Incidentally, when the NYPD and NYFD sell merchandise, some of that money goes toward benefiting departmental organisations and causes. There's nothing stopping NASA doing the same i.e. specific preservation oriented Hangar S or LC-19 T-shirts/Baseball caps etc.

All of this was just one suggestion of three options. What's the alternative? Looking at an empty lot in 12 months? That's just brilliant. Yet more history bulldozed.

I don't understand new owners of bars/restaurants in the area who gut their interiors and remove all trace of previous space memorabilia. They are on the Space Coast. That history/legacy/goodwill is a key selling point. You don't destroy that history — you preserve it.

I'll take a run-down empty hangar with historical provenance over a flash IMAX movie any day. Hangar S is similar to Pancho's at Edwards - sure there's not much to see — but it's where legends walked and history was written.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-01-2012 06:13 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 YankeeClipper:
The fact that it's 50s/60s era means we are not talking high spec facilities. Look at the old photos - the crew lounge is spartan. The medical station has a few cabinets, an exam table, very basic equipment. A few chimp cages. That doesn't take long to recreate.
You just provided reasoning that location is not needed. It can be recreated elsewhere. Do it over at the visitor center.

Also, other holes in your idea.

  1. Where is NASA going to get money for contractor security?

  2. The industrial area is not a place to make a visitor center oasis.

  3. There is nothing that can be used by locals. Again, there is nothing to take from the building that has any cache, much less anything related to "Hangar S"

  4. The public isn't going to care, they want to see hardware and not buildings. An astronaut hotel is not draw.
The astronaut transport trailer would have more value than building.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-01-2012 06:21 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:
Maybe they could have built one less building at that location to cover the cost of annexing and refurbishing - and saving - Hangar S.
No, cheaper and easier to construct new buildings.

I really don't understand this. It is a shell, there is nothing of historical value. If you think location is important, then put a marker there.

hlbjr
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posted 08-01-2012 06:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
It is a shell, there is nothing of historical value. If you think location is important, then put a marker there.
Not everyone shares this view. Being in a building where such important history was made is important to many people and becomes a touchstone for them to that very history. The shell of Hangar S is much more significant than some marker on the same site. I'd rather visit a hangar on Roosevelt Field (where Lindberg took off) than a marker in a mall parking lot where Roosevelt used to be located.

capoetc
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posted 08-01-2012 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears that the writing is on the wall regarding Hangar S, and to me that is unfortunate.

Clearly, Jim must work at CCAFS or at least has access, and to him Hangar S is just another building. I would imagine that if Jim were a soldier in Texas stationed at the Alamo in 1875, he would also fail to understand the historical significance of the location.

There is something special about being in places where historic events happened -- to stand inside the Alamo where the defenders held out against Santa Anna's forces is very inspirational, and that inspiration would be totally lost in a "recreated" Alamo.

I can almost imagine a tour guide 150 years from now:

Guide: "Ladies and Gentlemen, as we enter this building, you'll notice a plaque over here at the corner of Hangar S. It has a picture of Astronaut John Glenn and President John F. Kennedy after Glenn's Freedom 7 mission, which was the first time an American orbited the Earth."

Kid: "How come they were here at this old building?"

Guide: "Because this building is where America's first astronauts lived, trained, and slept during Project Mercury and the early part of Project Gemini as well. Now, let's go inside and see what it looked like at the time -- the interior has been recreated from period photographs and oral histories from workers who were here at the time. It is hard to imagine what it would have been like to be here at the dawn of the space age, before people were routinely flying beyond our solar system as we do now, but places like this help us to understand that heritage."

It is always difficult to understand the historical significance of places, artifacts, etc, without the passage of time.

To be clear, I am not advocating for preservation of Hangar S ... I do not think there is a viable business case for it. I am merely lamenting that fact.

Fra Mauro
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posted 08-01-2012 07:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA should attempt some public fund raising events to raise money to preserve key buildings, similar to what museums do. No even trying is a shame — you have to respect your past as you look to create a future. Unless you don't care about your past...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2012 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA is a federal agency; it cannot, by law, fund raise unless specifically authorized to do so by Congress.

It also must follow the procedures laid out for all federal agencies when disposing of federal property, which includes considering the preservation of historical structures.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-01-2012 09:45 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 capoetc:
Guide: "Ladies and Gentlemen, as we enter this building, you'll notice a plaque over here at the corner of Hangar S. It has a picture of Astronaut John Glenn and President John F. Kennedy after Glenn's Freedom 7 mission, which was the first time an American orbited the Earth."
Everybody is focusing on this building, which had a minor role. The tours do and will continue to cover the major facilities: LC5/6, 26, 14, 19, 34, etc. Hangar S doesn't make the cut. And there are the USAF items that should be covered and preserved (CCC/RCC for instance).

Again, it is the manned spaceflight slant that you are harping on. Manned spacecraft is a minor portion of CCAFS history.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-01-2012 09:49 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 hlbjr:
I'd rather visit a hangar on Roosevelt Field (where Lindberg took off) than a marker in a mall parking lot where Roosevelt used to be located.
Wrong analogy. The Roosevelt Field equivalents LC-5/6, 14, 19, and 34 are somewhat preserved. No one cares where Lindberg stayed the night before he flew or where he trained.

capoetc
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posted 08-01-2012 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
Wrong analogy. The Roosevelt Field equivalents LC-5/6, 14, 19, and 34 are somewhat preserved. No one cares where Lindberg stayed the night before he flew or where he trained.
Jim, I completely disagree with you here; and I'm sure we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Quite frankly, I believe the human element of spaceflight is much more interesting than the gantries those spaceflights launched from. If I had a vote (and it does not matter because the decisions are for the most part already done), I would choose to preserve Hangar S over LC-19.

Now, I would honestly prefer for both to be preserved, but I think the location where the first American space explorers worked, trained, and departed from for their journey to the stars is more important as a historical location than the "runway" from which they departed.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-01-2012 11:44 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 capoetc:
Now, I would honestly prefer for both to be preserved, but I think the location where the first American space explorers worked, trained, and departed from for their journey to the stars is more important as a historical location than the "runway" from which they departed.
Huh? A generic hangar used as a hotel and office area that can be easily replicated elsewhere, has no redeeming features and no remaining artifacts from the past era vs a one of a kind launch complex?

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-01-2012 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
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...However, in the future, I do believe it is important to preserve at least one of the original hangars (MAB's).

Preserve what exactly? Why? For whom? By your rationale these are generically designed buildings - shells with no historical value. Nothing to see. They are all potential grid references for parking lots.

If you do want to preserve one representative example, why not the most iconic Hangar S? What is stopping the functions of another hangar being transferred into Hangar S thereby keeping it operational and maintaining a continuous link with the birth of spaceflight? Why not demolish another hangar instead?

Hangar S is a part of CCAFS history. Just as LC-19 is. Across the world, most military services are extremely proud of their history and traditions and put serious effort into preserving them.

First the Mercury Mission Control Center, now Hangar S. It's just wrong.

LM-12
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posted 08-01-2012 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said, Yankee Clipper.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 08-01-2012 03:21 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 YankeeClipper:
If you do want to preserve one representative example, why not the most iconic Hangar S? What is stopping the functions of another hangar being transferred into Hangar S thereby keeping it operational and maintaining a continuous link with the birth of spaceflight? Why not demolish another hangar instead?
  1. Preserving at least one MAB is different than a specific one.

  2. Hangar S is not "iconic". It lost that distinction long ago, especially when it was converted for other uses. Again, you are taking a minority view. Also, other hangars such as R&D have a just as much claim to be iconic.

  3. Hangar S is not worth refurbishing for another user. It is run down.

  4. It is beyond reasonable (and even into other areas that decorum prevents me from posting) to ask other hangar users to move. Who is going to pay for the move and disruption to the other projects? Also, who is going to pay for the refurbishment and removal of the shuttle era cleanrooms?
This is the real world and money rules. There are plenty of existing historical facilities, displays, vehicles, etc that need maintenance and preservation money versus wasting it on Hangar S.

hlbjr
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Posts: 337
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 08-01-2012 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
The Roosevelt Field equivalents LC-5/6, 14, 19, and 34 are somewhat preserved. No one cares where Lindberg stayed the night before he flew or where he trained.
No, it is not wrong to liken a hangar at an airfield to a hangar near launch pads. I'm just glad I'm not so jaded that I can still see and sense the history of these buildings.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 657
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 08-01-2012 03:22 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 YankeeClipper:
First the Mercury Mission Control Center, now Hangar S. It's just wrong.
No it is not, the most important part of Mercury Mission Control Center was preserved.

Where the actual room is located meaningless. Mercury Mission Control Center building had many more rooms (like offices, bathrooms, break areas, janitor closets, etc)in it that don't add to its story and but would have to maintained to keep the building viable.

quote:
Across the world, most military services are extremely proud of their history and traditions and put serious effort into preserving them.

And the USAF does do a fine job, go to the USAF museum in Dayton. Look at refurbished missiles in hangar R or D.
quote:
Why not demolish another hangar instead?
I could make a case that any other hangar would be just as important. I know this forum leans towards manned spaceflight because that generates most of the collectibles. But there are many more important aspects spaceflight than the manned portion.

I am going to back off this thread. I am getting too stirred up.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29289
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-01-2012 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A relevant recent anecdote (made somewhat generic to protect identities). I recently heard from an Apollo-era flight controller who (initially) took issue with my describing the current International Space Station control room as the same as Mission Operations Control Room-1, or MOCR-1.

After a few exchanges, I pointed out that the ISS control room in FCR-1 is built into the same, but completely renovated physical space as MOCR-1. The room was the same, the consoles are different.

His response was that "MOCR-1 no longer exists." To him, once those consoles left the room, it was no longer the historic location it once was.

In the end, I think we realized we were both correct. MOCR-1 no longer exists, but its memory is alive inside FCR-1. The walls, ceiling and floor that housed MOCR-1 aren't what is important to history, though. What is important, was what was inside the room and that was what defined it as a location historic to Apollo.

The same can be said of Hangar S. It was a historic site and the memories of it still live within the minds of those who worked there. But it isn't the Hangar S historic to the Mercury program any more, nor are its walls and floors what made it historic...

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 1966
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 08-01-2012 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Guys, while I do support both sides of this topic discussion, Hangar S is indeed located on a restricted military installation.

In a pro-space world, so-to-speak, it would be great to have some sort of public access to the old Cape facility that once housed the original Mercury astronauts and their support-related functions.

But let's face it, in my opinion, it would not be a practical move and for many reasons, of which many have already been indicated here by Jim and Robert.

How about the old Range Control Center, once a favorite visit/stopover of mine, along with Press Site 2 (now closed), and the Air Force Technical Laboratory, located at Patrick AFB, currently still in operation.

Remember — the 9/11 tragedy changed a whole bunch about the Cape's operation conditions and just about completely restricting any sort of public access into these delicate and sensitive areas of our nation's missile, rocket, and other aerospace activities.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 590
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 08-01-2012 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As much as it pains me to say it, and I'm very pro-preservation and spent years of my life involved in it, the lessons I learned back then require me to don the Nomex, get pragmatic and side with Jim, Robert and Ken on this.

If circumstances were different - if we weren't dealing with a restricted area, a location within a working industrial section of an Air Force installation, and if an abundance of resources existed to do it up right - I'd be all for preserving and restoring Hangar S. But we're not dealing with those circumstances. There's no money to do it. Hangar S occupies real estate that's needed for other purposes. Changing it back to the way it was - which would result in a fine re-creation, but not the real thing - would take a lot of money and effort, and even then you won't have the real thing. Plus, you're dealing with a utilitarian structure that was not designed to last forever, and even worse that's in a very hostile environment and could deteriorate in short order if not properly maintained.

I would love to see Hangar S restored. I would have loved for the original Mercury Control Center to remain standing and be repaired. I'd love to see 14 and 19 restored instead of wasting away. Heck, I wish the USS Lake Champlain had been made into a museum long ago.

But we are not exactly dealing with an optimal set of circumstances, I'm afraid - and a lot of people have been seriously bitten by underestimating just what kind of commitment is required in preserving and maintaining an aging structure, especially in the kind of corrosive environment you have at CCAFS.

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 657
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 08-01-2012 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know what the issue is here. And I experience it in a totally different areas that is my second passion, music. I am a fan of the arena rock music genre, music from the late 70's. I have many albums, live recordings and videos from the 70's and 80's. I also went to concerts in that time frame. Over the years, after looking at album jackets, CD sleeves and videos, one would unintentionally only associate those images and sounds with the musicians. Now when one goes to a concert of those groups, there is a realization that things are not the same. The musicians have aged, voices have changed and some of the players even have changed. The albums from the 70's, however momentous, were only a short period/few years of their careers, but to me, it has defines them. In fact, many musicians move on to other types music and sounds. People who have interacted with the musicians over their careers have also evolved with them and don't see them frozen in time. This can also happen with actors, when one only focuses on their early careers.

Now, to make this relevant for this topic. The same thing is happening here, especially with the heavy manned spaceflight tendencies/interest/focus of this forum. Many on this thread see the 6 or so years of Hangar S role as astronaut "headquarters" as what defines it, even though it was less than 10% of it usage. I believe Hangar S spent more time supporting Vanguard and way more as shuttle payload processing facility. As with the musicians, most on this forum haven't see the facilities change/evolve over the years and how they have lost their physical associations with earlier programs. Also, the lack of documentation/reading material on these changes and the lesser of interest in unmanned spaceflight doesn't help in changing one's perception how the Cape has changed over the years. So that is why some may think I am jaded. I have been working at KSC/CCAFS since 1988, making work related visits since 1983 and visited as a tourist in 1974. I was a little disappointed that buildings and scenes depicted in visitor guides and books I got in 1974 were no longer representative in 1983.

Just as rock bands evolve, so does the Cape. As with the bands, it is more important to save the results of their work, the music, vs where the work was done, the studio. Yes, I know some studios have been preserved but not all of the ones where great albums were recorded.

Rob Joyner
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Posts: 1304
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 08-01-2012 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to whether the physical building means anything, whatever was once inside, or whatever happened there, would not have functioned or happened as it did. The building itself did in fact play a part in whatever happened within its walls and has significance.

YankeeClipper
Member

Posts: 272
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 08-02-2012 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have yet to hear what NASA intends to put in the place of Hangar S. I would understand the drive to demolish if they intended to build a state-of-the-art cleanroom facility, technical bay etc. But this seems to be an accounting exercise.

Going full circle back to the Florida Today article:

"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.

For the cost of one dime on each KSCVC admission ticket you have the maintenance budget for the structure. Make it one quarter per ticket and you have factored in incremental increase in the budget. One dollar per ticket and you easily have some financial firepower to devote to restoration and preservation for multiple sites. Let's also not forget that restoration costs are a one-off expense not recurring.

NASA are already going to have to tender, screen, guard, and pay contractors coming to demolish Hangar S. Instead of demolition why not restoration? Contractors will be onsite for a reason - why not make that a positive reason.

The argument has been repeatedly advanced that CCAFS is an industrial complex and tours of Hangar S would somehow violate OPSEC or be too disruptive.

If the base were truly that sensitive then no public tours of any description would be permitted. PERIOD. Not CCAFS Public Affairs Tours and certainly not KSCVC Public Tours.

But public tours are in progress on a regular basis indicating that they are permitted albeit restricted. If buses are already driving by the hangar, are you telling me it is utterly inconceivable for them to stop there?

There would be nothing sensitive to see at Hangar S. Base tour participants are already escorted. I have already explained in a previous post how you secure the perimeter of Hangar S.

I would understand if a building is structurally unsound and technically impossible to maintain. That would be a clear and valid case for demolition. I would understand if there was a brand new facility earmarked for the location.

But if the grand masterplan is just a vacant lot to save on the maintenance budget, then it's down to a lack of will.

Show us the structural engineering analysis and the NASA site plan for the hangar and I will be open to reconsideration.

YankeeClipper
Member

Posts: 272
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 08-02-2012 02:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
I know what the issue is here...
I agree with some of what you wrote in that post on music and change. I love a lot of 60s music. It's also nice to know though that the Hitsville U.S.A. Motown building in Detroit (Motown's headquarters 1959-1968) and Abbey Road studios in London still exist.

You have obviously had extensive exposure and ready access to the old Mercury facilities at CCAFS over the years. You've had that privilege and you have witnessed the changes over the years.

A lot of us due to work, family, distance, etc. haven't had that opportunity and now see another part of history slipping away.

As Jack King said in another version of the Florida Today article:

"It's hard to imagine Hangar S gone.

It's 'like a shrine to me'."

In a way, it's a tangible link to a by-gone age, more than any photo or vacant lot can be.

Sometimes it's questionable why we preserve things. NASA wouldn't justify the expense of recovering Liberty Bell 7 so Curt Newport and the Discovery Channel did it for them and us all. Similarly Amazon's Jeff Bezos is planning on salvaging Apollo 11's F-1 engines.

Arguably neither project was/is necessary or worth the expense. We already had other Mercury capsules, other Saturn Vs, and the Apollo 11 command module on dry land and the space program has thrived without these flown 'treasures' from the ocean.

Sometimes the history just outweighs the cost, and I've already explained how to fund the 'salvage' of Hangar S and LC-19. Maybe they're not worth the effort, but it sure doesn't feel that way.


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