The second level houses telemetry and recording equipment, instrumentation and data reduction facilities. Flag & Bicentennial Emblem: Added in 1976. The Acceptance Checkout Equipment, designed and operated by General Electric Co., was used for Apollo spacecraft. The cage slid down the cable at 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, braking to a stop at an earth bunker 1,200 feet (366 meters) from the firing site. The first two were unmanned rocket and space flight development flights, and the next 10 carried three-man Apollo crews into space. * Inspection, checkout, and interface checks of all three stages proceeded concurrently.
* Moved into the transfer aisle, the stage was positioned in front of a high bay, picked up by the 250-ton (227-metric ton) crane, tilted into a vertical position, raised 195 feet (59 meters) and then passed through an opening in the bay trusswork and gently lowered to the deck of the launcher. At the crew access arm level of the umbilical tower, a cage was suspended on a heavy cable. The launcher was raised off the support pedestals and carried into a VAB high bay, where it was carefully positioned on other pedestals. The RP-1 fuel (kerosene) was taken aboard the Saturn first. neutralize the current; otherwise, the foundation would have corroded and the VAB could claim to be the world's largest wet cell battery.
More than 98,000 tons (89,000 metric tons) of steel were used to construct the VAB. The Vehicle Tower Complex reminded the observer of the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Kennedy. The orbiter is then towed over from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the VAB transfer aisle, raised to a vertical position, lowered onto the Mobile Launcher Platform and then mated to the rest of the stack. The fourth Launch Control Center firing room functioned as a planning center for daily work schedule discussions, where progress of the checkout was plotted and the government/contractor engineers exchanged schedule information. Each pile was filled with sand to within one foot (30.5 centimeters) of the top, and concrete caps were poured around clusters of from six to 20 pilings.
The new launch complex and the mobile concept showed up well during a stiff testing period in 1966. The layers below that were silt overlaying bedrock at a depth of 160 feet (49 meters). The last Saturn V rocket boosted the unmanned Skylab space station into Earth orbit. NASA chose a back-to-back layout, with a transfer aisle between rows of checkout and assembly bays. Three identical launchers were built for the three equipped high bays of the VAB. The building encloses 130 million cubic feet (3.68 million cubic meters) and covers eight acres (3.2 hectares). Models were tested but found infeasible. KSC Science Home Page The same procedure was followed to stack the third stage, and finally the instrument unit topped off the launch vehicle. It was desirable to keep the colossal Saturn as close to the ground as possible, in order to avoid adverse wind effects at higher levels. The flag is 64 x 33.5 meters (209 x 110 ft) in size. A trip to the Moon began very slowly. Cathodic protection had to be applied to This system of small thrusters operated during coast periods to provide enough velocity to keep the propellants settled in the bottom of their tanks. The crawler-transporters and the 355-foot-tall mobile launcher, or ML, also are available to support a rocket at the launch pad. High overhead loomed the launcher tower; beside it was the gleaming white rocket-the largest ever seen in the United States-visible to the public for the first time just five years after President Kennedy announced the Apollo program. Approximately 2,500 separate drawings were submitted. KSC planners drew up the requirements while the Army Corps of Engineers created a new management office, the Canaveral District, to supervise brick and mortar construction contracts for NASA. Means of transporting the mobile launchers and assembled Apollo-Saturn V vehicles from the VAB to the launch pads were thoroughly investigated by KSC engineers. Aerozine-50 fuel was then loaded into the service module and lunar module tanks.
In 1963 NASA awarded a contract for the construction of two crawlers.
Tests showed a three-foot (one-meter) limestone shelf 118 feet (36 meters) below the surface. In operation, the crawler moved underneath the mobile launcher and engaged its jacking system, which fitted under the platform. Housed in the KSC Industrial Area five miles (eight kilometers) away, the equipment allowed engineers to monitor 24,000 samples of spacecraft test data per second. Those required at Complex 39 were much heavier and proposed difficult engineering problems. Two separate computer systems were employed. Here the barges arrived with the first and second stages of the Saturn V, each too long to be shipped by air or land. Stainless steel, vacuum-jacketed pipes carried liquid oxygen and hydrogen from storage tanks to the pad, then to the mobile launcher and ultimately to tanks inside the vehicle stages. Selected work areas within the building are air-conditioned. Each opening is 139 meters (456 ft) high. The platforms were installed on the sides of the bay and could be adjusted upward or downward, in and out, encircling the Saturn V stages during checkout and preparation. It is 525 feet (160 meters) high. One mode involved a barge system, floating them from the VAB to the pads in a canal.
Checkout instrumentation located in adjoining laboratories near the bay was hooked up, and the preparation work continued. Lifting Devices: 71 cranes; two 227 metric ton (250 ton) bridge cranes. * A movable service structure 45 stories tall that permitted technicians to complete preparations at the launch pad. The space is divided into a Low Bay and a High Bay.
(The fourth firing room was never equipped with checkout consoles.) Some were one story tall, others two stories, and some as high as a three-story building. * A system of carrying rockets and launchers, weighing 12 million pounds (5.44 million kilograms) to and from the firing site.
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