The Amaz!ng Meeting 2003

Electric Monk - Kennedy Space Center - VAB and Landing Facility

Next, we headed for our stop at the VAB. The canton (starred area) of the flag on the VAB is the size of an NBA court. The flag takes 300 gallons of paint, and is painted by hand.

Vehicle Assembly Building
The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and the Launch Control Center (White Building on Right)

The top of the VAB is large enough to hold Yankee Stadium, with an acre left over for parking. It was designed and built for the Apollo program, and is capable of storing four Saturn V rockets simultaneously. (Note that there are four big doors on the building, two on each of two opposite sides.)

Vehicle Assembly Building
The VAB - 55 Stories Tall

The VAB is 525 feet (55 stories) tall, and encloses more volume than the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is so big, that it has to have a special air circulation system to prevent rain clouds from forming inside.

Still, with its big doors all the way open, the Saturn V rockets had only 6" clearance at the top. They only have to open the doors half-way to get the Shuttles out.

VAB Group Photo
All of Us in Front of the VAB

At the VAB stop, we had our guide take pictures of all of us, using about 5 of our cameras. Unfortunately, my camera had accidentally been put into movie mode, and I now have a short movie with 11 of us holding very still in front of the VAB. The picture above is a frame from the movie which is recorded at low resolution.

Landing strip
Looking Down the Shuttle Landing Strip

From the VAB we headed out to the Shuttle Landing Facility. It consists of a 15000-foot runway, and a small red control tower. There was not much to see, but we were all wishing that we could be back here on Saturday for the Shuttle landing.

Control tower
New Control Tower for Shuttle Landings

They were almost done building the new tower, which looks like a vast improvement on the existing one. It is supposed to be ready in time for the next flight.

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