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  Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral launch complexes and facilities
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-02-2012 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a significant difference between renovation and restoration, but that is really besides the point, isn't it? To repeat Stephen (SpaceKSCBlog):
CCAFS command will never allow guests to tour buildings in the Industrial Area.
Which means that spending money to restore Hangar S just so it stands, unused, is a luxury NASA cannot afford (or likely justify).

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-02-2012 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceKSCBlog:
None of those tours go to Hangar S.
Okay, can someone please clarify how close both tours get to Hangar S - does either tour drive past the building?
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
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.
It would be nice to know which of the above two posts is accurate for those of us wishing to at least see the outside of the hangar while it still stands.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-02-2012 05:41 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:
So they can renovate a hangar that is even older than Hangar S?
  1. There is only a few years difference between the two. Not enough to matter, they are both over 50 years old
  2. Hangar S has been extensively modified and has basically another building inside of it. Hangar C has remained in the same configuration the whole time.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-02-2012 05:45 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:
Would you say the same of the Texas School Book Depository (now the Dallas County Administration Building) at Dealey Plaza? Or the Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) in San Antonio?
The Dallas County Administration Building is still providing a useful purpose, is not in a corrosive environment, and only a small part is a museum.

There is only one Alamo and many MAB's.

quote:
Or the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills?
You made my point that I posted much earlier. This is just a marker, they can do the same for Hangar S. And guess what? Mercury has its marker at LC-14.

Hangar S is not a house of worship. Hangar S deserves no more consideration than any other MAB. It is not unique and does not retain features of its past life.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 08-02-2012 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by YankeeClipper:
Okay, can someone please clarify how close both tours get to Hangar S - does either tour drive past the building?
Okay, first to clarify...

You have two options to tour CCAFS.

One is the Cape Canaveral: Then and Now tour. That runs once a day. The tour route goes through the CCAFS Industrial Area at the speed limit. It drives past Hangars AE, S, AF, etc. What gets pointed out and mentioned is up to the professional tour guide, who is not driving. There is a separate driver who determines the pace.

The other is the 45th Space Wing tour. These tours are led by a volunteer docent. The bus is provided by the Space Wing (i.e. USAF) as is the driver.

They are similar tours in many ways, but neither stops at Hangar S. At best, they drive down Hangar Road and point it out as they pass by.

Hangar S is at the intersection of Hangar Road and Skid Strip Road. It is a fairly busy intersection, so buses can't stop there. Hangar S is behind a security fence, and it's about 100 yards from the intersection to the hangar.

I am a docent at the Air Force Space & Missile Museum (AFSMM), and even I can't get into Hangar S. It's a secure area. That's per the base commander.

Keep in mind... This is a military base. In the immediate area of Hangar S are other hangars in active use, some of them for classified missions such as the National Reconnaissance Office.

Just to go on either tour, you have to provide a government-issued ID.

Let me also make a few points about how the museum operates.

The museum is controlled by the Museum of the Air Force out of Dayton. Technically speaking, any museum artifacts belong to Dayton. CCAFS itself is a military operation and doesn't have a budget for the museum or protecting historic sites.

Hangar S would have to be transferred by the USAF to the Museum of the Air Force, which would have to pay for restoration and preservation, and then persuade the CCAFS base commander to allow tours to exit the bus in the middle of a classified area.

The AFSMM raises money through a separate non-profit foundation to pay for preservation and restoration. The foundation is paying for Hangar C. The AFSMM will use it in the future to display restored artifacts, many of which were rotting away in the LC-26 museum's outdoor rocket garden. Those artifacts for now are stored in Hangar D, across the street from Hangar S, which poses the same problem — it's a classified area. Tours, therefore, aren't allowed to go in Hangar D either.

That's why they're restoring Hangar C. Not just because it was the first hangar. It's because Hangar C is not in a classified area. The base command will allow guests to exit the bus at Hangar C. Not Hangar S. Not Hangar D. Nowhere in the Industrial Area.

The KSC Visitor Complex is an entirely separate budget. KSCVC is owned by NASA and operated by Delaware North under contract. KSCVC gets no say in what happens at CCAFS.

CCAFS allows one KSCVC tour a day to visit the AFSMM at LC-26. If KSCVC decides not to run tours any more to CCAFS, then say goodbye to the docent program because we'll have nothing to do.

The situation is far more complicated than most people realize, or are willing to acknowledge. We'd love to preserve everything in perpetuity, but that's not the real world.

But if one of you is a billionaire and would like to make a $1 million donation to the foundation to help, please give us a call.

rwhite502
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posted 08-02-2012 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rwhite502     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I took the "Then and Now" tour on three occasions - in 2000, 2002, and 2004. (Wow, has it been that long?)

The first time, in 2000, we had a great tour guide - he had photo books showing the launch pads when they were in use, and was very knowledgeable. We drove through the CCAFS industrial area and he explained all the hangers to us while the bus was in motion. At the time I only had a 35mm camera which didn't take good photos thru the window.

In 2002 and 2004, much to my disappointment, the tour guides didn't describe anything while driving through the industrial area. However, I knew which side of the bus to be sitting on and was able to snap decent photos of all the hangers with a digital camera as we drove by.

Here's my 2002 photo and 2004 photo, taken from the bus. The full set can be found here. I'm glad I got photos of the original Mercury Control too on the 2000 tour - the bus didn't stop there in 2002 or 2004.

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-03-2012 04:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stephen, thanks for the background information on the tours, the base, and the museum - it's much appreciated.

Rich, thanks for sharing the great photos and for the insight into your tour experiences.

I find it sad that tour guides would not mention the two main Mercury sites in the industrial area. Talk about those sites being erased/airbrushed from history - wow!

Jim, I'm not sure there is even a point to having a site marker. Who could see it at distance, from a moving tour bus, and with a guide who doesn't even mention it? Maybe the memorial at LC-14 will have to suffice.

quote:
Hangar S is not a house of worship. Hangar S deserves no more consideration than any other MAB. It is not unique and does not retain features of its past life.
Your viewpoint is the polar opposite of Jack King's in the Florida Today articles on the subject. He actually used the term shrine and described it as one of two iconic buildings of the Mercury era.

But, as Robert said, the debate is immaterial now and there is no point having it ad nauseum. Viewpoints differ but the die is cast and the building is going to be razed.

I would love to know, though, what John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, or Dee O'Hara think of the demolition and any commemorative marker.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-03-2012 08:04 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:
Your viewpoint is the polar opposite of Jack King's in the Florida Today articles on the subject.
Because he was too involved, he is too biased to be a source. Historical sites are not determined by the participants but by those outside of the event.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-03-2012 08:47 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 YankeeClipper:
I would love to know, though, what John Glenn...
Obviously I don't speak for Glenn, but based on my interviews with him over the years, it wouldn't surprise me if he would emphasize that NASA's priority with regards to maintaining facilities should be focused on the International Space Station and if demolishing an old building frees up resources to continue important basic research in low Earth orbit, then it should be done.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 08-03-2012 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The people who occupied the building 50 years ago are irrelevant. CCAFS command decides what to do with the building.

Not to offend anyone, but this discussion is starting to get a bit silly.

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-03-2012 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceKSCBlog:
The people who occupied the building 50 years ago are irrelevant. CCAFS command decides what to do with the building.
The people who created history 50 years ago and who are still alive might take grave exception to that first statement. Current CCAFS command were not involved in the creation of the earliest events in manned spaceflight history.

We would not have a firm idea today of where the Wright Brothers first flights actually occurred, if it were not for the testimonies of eye-witnesses solicited decades afterward when people belatedly came to realise the significance of the 1903 flights and the importance of the site.

The opinions of surviving Mercury astronauts and Space Task Group workers on the fate of Hangar S are just as valid as anyone else's.

They do not have CCAFS Command authority over the decision, but they are most definitely not irrelevant.

quote:
Not to offend anyone, but this discussion is starting to get a bit silly.
It's not silly to have a serious timely discussion on matters of a nation's heritage, especially when it involves the destruction of part of that heritage.

When $30+ million is being spent by the Navy on Moffett Field's/NASA's Hangar One (a 79 year old structure with serious environmental/corrosion and hazmat issues) and CCAFS's Hangar C is being preserved, it inevitably and legitimately raises the question: why save those hangars and not Hangar S.

So far the catalogue of answers has been:

  1. Access:
    The KSC LCC, VAB, and O&C are historic structures too, normally out-of-bounds to the public. People happily view them from a distance.
  2. Cost:
    I have explained how to fund preservation through KSCVC. Alternatively AFSMM could charge for the services of their tour guides even if CCAFS PAO can't.
  3. Corrosion:
    Humidity/salinity target every structure in the Cape area. Hangar S is not an exceptional case.
  4. Function:
    The hangar has been operational since the late 1950s. Only with the current hiatus is it lacking a role. That does not mean it won't/can't have one in the future.
  5. Layout:
    Looking at period photos, these photos, and the Florida Today video indicate there are still elements of the Mercury-era building in place.
  6. Non-uniqueness:
    No other CCAFS MAB was the Mercury MSC.
The real answers lie in priorities and lack of will.

LC-14 was allowed to corrode and decay for decades until a decision was made that, actually, LC-14 was important to restore.

Many KSC structures such as the LCC,VAB, and O&C, although constructed in the 1960s, were not added to the National Register of Historic Places until the year 2000.

All this raises two questions:

  1. What if in 20 years time priorities, budgets, and viewpoints are different and people decide that, actually, Hangar S was important and should have been saved - what then?

  2. If the KSC O&C is on the National Register of Historic Places, then maybe Hangar S (which performed the functions of Mercury capsule checkout, crew quarters, medical, and suiting up) should really be on there too, and thus preserved?
Proactive preservation will always be better than retroactive restoration.

If nothing else, some elements of the old building should be saved in some format to maintain an unbroken link to the past.

Hangar S should not be airbrushed out of history, just as LC-19 should not be.

(I now withdraw from the discussion, as I have nothing further to add on the subject.)

star61
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posted 08-04-2012 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the UK there are many structures still standing that are mere shells, but regarded as very important for understanding and getting a feel for our heritage. They are called Castles!

The USA has its own unique heritage when it comes to manned spaceflight. Other than in what was the USSR, no other country in the world has buildings with a heritage allayed to man's first baby steps away from Earth. I believe the richest nation on this pale blue dot should keep these buildings if not for now then at least for generations to come. Even a shell of a building has significance to people with an imagination.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-04-2012 02:48 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:
We would not have a firm idea today of where the Wright Brothers first flights actually occurred, if it were not for the testimonies of eye-witnesses solicited decades afterward when people belatedly came to realise the significance of the 1903 flights and the importance of the site.
Mercury has its marker at LC-14 and blockhouse at LC-5/6.
quote:
When $30+ million is being spent by the Navy on Moffett Field's/NASA's Hangar One (a 79 year old structure with serious environmental/corrosion and hazmat issues) and CCAFS's Hangar C is being preserved, it inevitably and legitimately raises the question: why save those hangars and not Hangar S.
  1. It is a one of a kind structure. Hangar S is one of many.
  2. The Navy is not restoring but removing hazardous material.
  3. Google may pay for restoration
quote:
So far the catalogue of answers has been: Access, Cost, Function, Layout, Non-uniqueness. The real answers lie in priorities and lack of will.
There is no worth in seeing Hangar S from a far. Your cost proposal is not a given. It is up to the visitor center operator do determine costs/benefits. There is no further need or role for Hangar S. Hangar L has already been demolished and others are also scheduled. The structures have little use other than for storage. Other than the crane, there was no Mercury era hardware in those photos. The real answer that it is the smart thing to do.

mjanovec
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posted 08-04-2012 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
No it is not, the most important part of Mercury Mission Control Center was preserved.

Where the actual room is located meaningless.


I completely disagree. Where an historic event took place is just as important as the hardware that was used during that event. Visiting the blockhouses at Pad 26 or Pad 5, you not only see the hardware, but stand in the actual location where that hardware was utilized. You see where Wehner von Braun stood during Alan Shepard's launch. You see, touch, and smell the aura of history in those buildings. The ghosts of the era are whispering in your ears as you walk through those rooms.

The old Mercury Control consoles are neat to see at the Visitor's Center, but the display totally lacks the feeling (and atmosphere) of standing in a locale where history actually took place. (The annoying video playing overhead certainly doesn't help either.) Instead, it's just hardware arranged behind plexiglass, approximating what it looked like in it's original location. It's a poor substitute for standing in the actual control room.

Pad 34 is another stark example. Even though most of the hardware is long gone, the concrete remnants of the launch pedestal are emotionally powerful because they stand in the actual place where history occurred. Trying to replicate that atmosphere elsewhere would simply not work.

Yes, Hanger S is probably not the priority location to save and preserve. But it's yet another historic building or structure at the Cape that is disappearing from the map. An actual building will always hold more historical appeal than a plaque...even if that building is currently only a shell of it's former self.

For all we know, the issues of security and building access that restrict Hanger S from tours today might not be an issue in the future.

hlbjr
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posted 08-05-2012 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
The old Mercury Control consoles are neat to see at the Visitor's Center, but the display totally lacks the feeling (and atmosphere) of standing in a locale where history actually took place.
I concur. I visited the original Mercury Control Center twice in it's original location (and context). It was a powerful experience to me and the guys with me.

I don't even check out the "Disneyfied" Mercury hardware at the Visitor's Center as it lacks the integrity and context of the original. To be right where all of the legends of spaceflight sat and worked and sweated out tense situations was a powerful experience. I realize now that you either get that concept or you don't.

(I have heard less-than-flattering comments on the MCC display at the KSCVC from a number of my space buddies. I've not heard one opinion preferring the present display to the original MCC. It has no soul in my opinion.)

Jim Behling
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posted 08-05-2012 08:49 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:
To be right where all of the legends of spaceflight sat and worked and sweated out tense situations was a powerful experience. I realize now that you either get that concept or you don't.
And 99% of the public doesn't get that concept. Blindfold most of them and place them in the Mercury MCC or Apollo LCC and they wouldn't know the difference.

With all that said, it is the general public's needs that matter and the presentation to them, not some space geek, who would if given a chair from Hangar S would react as Sheldon did to Leonard Nimoy's napkin the Big Bang Theory.

To the two above posters:

  1. There is no place in Hangar S to get your same feelings, since it has all changed.
  2. what was done to the MCC is irrelevant because there is nothing to save inside the Hangar to move to another facility, except for air.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 08-05-2012 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hlbjr:
(I have heard less-than-flattering comments on the MCC display at the KSCVC from a number of my space buddies. I've not heard one opinion preferring the present display to the original MCC. It has no soul in my opinion.)
With all due respect...

You and your "space buddies" do not reflect the overwhelming majority of people who visit KSCVC. Hundreds of thousands of people walk through Early Space Exploration every year to see the consoles and the other exhibits. They don't hold their noses, from what I've seen.

If you want to boycott the exhibit, you're more than welcome to do so. The other option was that it would be scrapped. You and your "space buddies" might hold your breath demanding the USAF spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year trying to preserve buildings that were never designed to last 50 years. It won't do you any good.

This is a lot like the Disneyphiles who get all irate whenever Disney tweaks something at the Magic Kingdom. They make a lot of noise, but they're statistically irrelevant.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-05-2012 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is what Hangar S other uses have been:
  • Project Vanguard (!957-1959)

    It was used to house NRL personnel and to checkout both the Vanguard LV and spacecraft.

  • Post MSC use (1966-1970)

    Hangar S is configured to support two unmanned spacecraft projects simultaneously. Operational areas consist of two class 100,000 clean rooms with an interconnecting airlock, two spacecraft systems test areas, a support building, a spacecraft telemetry ground station, a bonded storage area, biological laboratories, and offices for project personnel. All Biosatellite, Lunar Orbiter, and HEOS spacecraft have been processed in Hangar S.

  • Post Apollo (1970's)

    It was used to checkout many spacecraft including the Communications Technology Satellite series.

  • Early Shuttle era (1982)

    Hangar S consists of a main hangar building with two floors of office and laboratory rooms. ...Hangar S's south clean room complex will be used for processing the smaller STS payloads; however, this complex has only a limited amount of space available. Most of Hangar S is occupied by other organizations and will not be available to STS users. Most of the operational area in the Hangar S is dedicated to processing the solid rocket booster recovery equipment; most of the office area is dedicated to base support and solid rocket booster contractor personnel. The north clean room complex is dedicated to processing the orbiter experiments (OEX). Only the south clean room complex is available for processing STS payloads.

  • Recent era

    A shuttle OMS pod simulator was in the south cleanroom for SCAPE training

hlbjr
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posted 08-05-2012 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceKSCBlog:
If you want to boycott the exhibit, you're more than welcome to do so.
Using terms like boycott and scrapping are a little dramatic but that said, the exhibit is designed for the general public and it is a commercial venture which is a different thrust from what the collectSPACE message board crowd is about. collectSPACE is a group of space-philes who have distinct tastes and know more than the average joe about the various aspects of the space program.

I am voicing my opinion that the original MCC was a more historic and hallowed place and I have people trying to tell me that my opinion is incorrect! The KSCVC MCC is an attraction and I'm glad it's there as opposed to nothing but it's far from the same for me and is clearly geared to a different crowd (the more statistically significant crowd I'm told).

I prefer to be statistically insignificant. I'm glad the consoles weren't "scrapped" but I'm sure instead they would have had a less destructive fate.

Finally, with all due respect, I have not advocated the preservation of Hangar S given the difficulties, but I have advocated a visit to the hangar, if possible, for a group of us before the end comes. I do wish it could be preserved but I have not argued the case knowing how thin funding and manpower are for such a venture.

My discussion has been limited to advocating the building's importance thanks to it's place in history and that is something that some of us will have to simply disagree about.

I don't think it's necessary to put words in other peoples mouths or to lump people together when they share part of an opinion with others.

mjanovec
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posted 08-06-2012 01:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
And 99% of the public doesn't get that concept. Blindfold most of them and place them in the Mercury MCC or Apollo LCC and they wouldn't know the difference.
I would argue that the ignorance of the masses is a weak excuse for erasing historic sites and re-creating them in a theme park, where the gift shop reigns supreme.
quote:
...what was done to the MCC is irrelevant because there is nothing to save inside the Hangar to move to another facility, except for air.
The building itself is historic, regardless of what it currently contains. Your list of the building's many roles over the decades only confirms that.

Look at it this way... if the VAB was gutted of much of its hardware, would the VAB cease to be an interesting historic building worth saving?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2012 03:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Vehicle Assembly Building is probably not a fair comparison because (a) it is unique, and (b) the building itself set records for its volume and being the tallest one-story building in the world.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 08-06-2012 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I visited and walked through Hanger S in February of this year. It is in sorry shape. It has been left neglected for a long time.

Yet, you can still see the area next to the building where JFK, Glenn and the Friendship 7 spacecraft stood 50 years ago. You can still see "Langley AFB Hanger" lightly imprinted on the outside wall. The lift crane inside the hanger still hangs above your head in the ceiling's girders. Up until recently, you could see the emergency egress maps from the Gemini era gently fading away in the sunlight. It is a unique building where our Florida space heritage began.

Sadly, as a NASA facility, it has been left to languish and is probably in need of being torn down. I can understand that NASA had moved on as an organization and newer buildings had to be built and maintained as the agency and country moved onto more complex missions.

What did disturb me was that the other hangers in the USAF care are in very good condition. I was in Hanger F (I believe) directly across Hanger Road from Hanger S and the hanger was immaculate to the point where you could eat off the hanger floor. That building (similar to Hanger S) was prepped to last more than 50 years.

Maybe a nice plaque can be placed at the site stating that "Here once stood the building where America's first manned spaceflight began."

Go easy on us, "Space Geeks." We care about the past and the future at the same time. That reason alone makes us unique.

JSC01
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posted 08-06-2012 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a very interesting thread and I appreciate all the information and comments. I must have drove past S dozens of times without really knowing what I was driving by.

For what it's worth, I fall on the side of 'preserve for education' anything possible/reasonable/practical. Aging facilities can be fixed, restored... they can even be populated with replicas (such as those made by Gaurd Lee) to make wonderful educational exhibits that tell our story.

There is a reason why people come to tour the KSC/CCAFS area. Not just what we're doing 'now' but our achievements of the past as well. Certainly if it's not practical (if the building is literally falling down...) or affordable, I understand.

mjanovec
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posted 08-06-2012 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The Vehicle Assembly Building is probably not a fair comparison because (a) it is unique, and (b) the building itself set records for its volume and being the tallest one-story building in the world.

You missed my point. One must surely acknowledge there are others reasons to save the VAB other than it's design and volume. What happened inside the building must surely factor into the equation.

There are many historic buildings around the world that have been saved for future generations, despite not having unique designs or breaking any particular records.

Perhaps the demolition of Hanger S would be less irritating had NASA attempted to save more of it's other historic locations.

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

posted 08-06-2012 06:34 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 mjanovec:
Perhaps the demolition of Hanger S would be less irritating had NASA attempted to save more of it's other historic locations.
More is not needed. There are too many at the Cape the way it is. It is an active spaceport. Let's see what is there and registered as National Historic Landmarks:
  • USAF Space Museum (includes LC-5/6 and blockhouse)
  • LC-14
  • LC-19
  • LC-34
  • LC-13
  • MCC, which the important part was saved.
As far as the USAF is concerned, they are saving:
  • Hangar C
  • Navaho
  • USAF Space Museum
Hanagar S is not part of NHL.

Kennedy Space Center is saving:

  • O&C
  • Saturn V
  • LCC
  • VAB
  • Shuttle OAA and GOX vent arm
  • Crew Training Facility
There are others.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 1984
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 08-06-2012 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't forget LC-26A is a vital part of the Cape's USAF Space Museum, launch site in orbiting America's first satellite along with other Explorer and Pioneer probes. In addition, Pad 26 was also the historic complex that put Able, Baker, and Gordo into space.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-06-2012 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
Crew Training Facility
Is that what was the Apollo-era Flight Crew Training Building?

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 08-07-2012 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
LC-14, LC-19, LC-34, LC-13, MCC, which the important part was saved.
All of the above examples are highly debatable as to whether they have been saved or not. Just because they have been registered as historic landmarks doesn't mean they have been properly preserved. Too often, NASA's attitude has been to "abandon in place" until the structures become too run down that they must be demolished.

There's plenty of room at the Cape for history to be saved and for an active spaceport to thrive.

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

posted 08-07-2012 05:38 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 mjanovec:
NASA's attitude has been to "abandon in place" until the structures become too run down that they must be demolished.

There's plenty of room at the Cape for history to be saved and for an active spaceport to thrive.


Wrong on both accounts:
  1. Abandoned in place is for sites that can't be readily demolished. Also, NASA does not own every site.
  2. The existing sites have affected and constrained future planning.
Anyways, by the logic of some on this forum, if an empty building has meaning and worth preserving, then an empty pad meets the same intent.

I guess some wont be happy unless every structure that an astronaut walked in or piece of hardware they touched is saved. Might as well cordon off the road from Hangar S to LC-5/6 and LC-14 because that is also special.

canyon42
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From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 08-07-2012 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This has been an interesting discussion, but I have to admit that the condescending attitudes shown by a few toward others who have differing opinions on the historical value of certain places — or on the larger issue of the importance of "place" in historical value — is becoming more than a little off-putting.

Not every disagreement has an automatic "wrong" that you can just dismiss. No one here can claim an absolute authority over what is or is not important to everyone else.

JSC01
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From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 08-07-2012 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very well said. Even in an active spaceport, where the tours are permitted to go is largely preserved/educational areas (other than areas that are viewed from a distance). Where the line is between discard or preserve, is certainly a fair discussion. There is no right or wrong, everyone will have their own opinion.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 819
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 08-07-2012 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim, maybe some on the forum feel as you describe, but the majority understand the need to move forward. You could issue a declaration to rip up Hanger Road and you wouldn't have too much of a compliant from this group.

CCAFS is a functioning base and as such has to modernize as new technology dictates.

The majority would look at the key buildings such as the VAB and Hanger S as it relates to critical events in the history of manned spaceflight. The Saturn V Center and it's launch facility replica have a done a remarkable job in telling the Apollo Program story to the public and makes some of the on site buildings redundant.

Still it is Hanger S. You could knock down every other hanger or building around it and that would be fine to the average space historian. It's just that Hanger S is so legendary to the beginnings of America's space programs.

It could be likened to tearing down the Concord Bridge in Massachusetts or turning the Gettysburg National Park into a condo development.

You are between a rock and a hard place on this forum, you have to balance the need to build for the future with the need to preserve the past. It will always be a tough decision on what stays and what goes.

As an aside, I have friends who worked in the Boston Redevelopment Authority during the years of redevelopment of Boston's city center in the 60's. People still complain about the tearing down of the West End some 50 years later.

I wish you luck, but remember this is Hanger S.

cycleroadie
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Posts: 305
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 08-07-2012 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been following this thread for awhile. I can appreciate the historical significance of such a facility, but I also understand that a gutted, deteriorating building surely does not project it's history.

Comparing it to the VAB really isn't fair since the VAB will actively be used for many years to come in the preparation of launch vehicles and spacecraft.

But here's my feeling, in this time of tight NASA budgets, I would rather see NASA spending their money on the future, building new facilities and new spacecraft, not trying to preserve the past.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 819
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 08-08-2012 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NPS could be solicited to take over the building to run and maintain it as part of the National Park Service system. That would take the building out of NASA's hands and expenses.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 681
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 08-08-2012 03:30 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 Larry McGlynn:
The NPS could be solicited to take over the building to run and maintain it as part of the National Park Service system. That would take the building out of NASA's hands and expenses.
Not feasible.
  1. Still have the money issue
  2. Still have the access issue
  3. CCAFS is not a national park

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 819
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 08-08-2012 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Boston Navy Yard is an active military base with the oldest commissioned Navy ship in the world and is the Ship of State. The NPS handles the buildings and the Navy handles the yard and the ship. I am a trustee at the museum there and am privy to the actions of both the USN and the NPS.

I understand that the CCAFS would be a tougher situation. The prior poster made a statement that begged for a possible solution.

I also witnessed the NPS work with the Marshall Islanders on turning the wrecks at Bikini Atoll into a park.

If nothing else, then let's figure out a way to take pieces of the hanger and put those objects into lucites for the fans of space flight. That would probably be a decent compromise.

canyon42
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Posts: 192
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 08-09-2012 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Huffman Prairie (the site where the Wright Brothers worked on refining their airplanes and flying techniques after Kitty Hawk) is in a somewhat similar situation--it's run by the National Park Service despite being on Wright-Patt AFB.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 681
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 08-09-2012 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CCAFS is not like a normal Naval Station or Air Force Base, where anyone with a DOD ID or car decal can enter. CCAFS is a restricted base where only those with special badges can enter. Hence that is why only a few tours are allowed.

Anyways, there is no need to bring in a 4th party into the matter, NASA, its visitor center and the USAF Museum already handle the tours for KSC and CCAFS.

SpaceKSCBlog
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Posts: 116
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 08-09-2012 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To make the point yet again ... Hangar S is in the CCAFS Industrial Area. This is a secure and sensitive area of CCAFS. Among other things, the National Reconnaissance Office is nearby.

You are never going to get tours or a national park or anything else in that area where the Air Force will allow people to get out and wander about.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 819
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 08-10-2012 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NRO is there and so is SpaceX and a number of civilian businesses too.

Look, just make lucites of Hanger S and give them to Delaware North to sell in the gift shop at KSCVC and maybe that will help with the NASA budget.


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