If Atlantis flies safely, Endeavour will be moved to 39A inlate May, marking the last time in history that a space shuttle was on 39B.
First used to launch the Apollo 10 mission on a Saturn V rocket in May 1969, Pad 39B was augmented for the space shuttle program with a 267-foot fixed service structure FSS assembled in part from one of the mobile launchers that supported the earlier moon-bound flights. Sound Suppression Water System The launch pad is equipped with a water system that deluges the mobile launch platform and flame trench in the seconds before liftoff. This was far different than doing the complex and somewhat dangerous task at a dedicated Vehicle Assembly Building, like the one that sits some three and a half miles away from the launch pads at Kennedy Space Center.
In summary, the U. By May 18, 2011, the rotating service structure had been reduced to just its frame.
This event also offered many of the pictures you see in this article. Debus, Center Director at Kennedy. Only the cleanup of the sand, reinforcing steel and large wooden mats that were placed over the pad's concrete surfaces to protect them remained to be done. Space Shuttle Filed to: Page 1.
To get the best experience possible, please download a compatible browser. With the shuttles scheduled to be retired next year, the pads are to beconverted to launch the next generation of NASA crewed vehicles, the Constellationprogram's Ares rockets , with work already underway to modify Pad 39B.
Pictured here is the early construction phase of Pad 39A in July 1964. By September 1964, the hardstand on both sides of the flame trench beneath Pad 39A begins to take shape.
That there are two shuttles on two pads, visible or not, is in itself rare,occurring only 18 times over the past three decades. The first crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon, Apollo 8, stands on the launchpad prior to launch in December 1968.
Each mission began with a thundering liftoff as the shuttle's twin solid rocket boosters ignited, pushing the vehicle with its crew and cargo beyond the bounds of gravity and into the hostile environment of space.
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Let us know at community space. The RSS is usually only openedjust after a shuttle arrives at the pad, when the payload arrives to beinstalled inside the orbiter's bay, or just prior to launch. A 130-foot-high-by-102-foot-long rotating service structure RSS was also erected to protect the shuttle orbiters from the elements and provide access to their cargo bays.