Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Saturday at KSC

It wasn't the best day for photography at Kennedy Space Center. The morning was overcast. The Sun played hide and seek with the clouds. Being a Saturday, KSC was largely lifeless.

But the absence of humanity also provided more freedom to shoot photos at places normally bustling with activity.

Below are photos I shot around the space center. I wanted to show you things you don't usually see, or different views of familiar faces.

The entrance to the Solid Rocket Booster Assembly and Reburbishment Facility on Schwartz Road just east of Kennedy Parkway.

The NASA Railroad Yard, looking north towards the Vehicle Assembly Building.

The three NASA locomotives. Looking south towards the railroad yard.

NASA locomotives 1 and 3.

A closer look at NASA locomotive 3.

The Processing Control Center with the Vehicle Assembly Building in the background.

Orbiter Processing Facility 2. The orbiter Endeavour is inside.

Orbiter Processing Facility 1. The orbiter Atlantis is inside.

OPF-1 looking towards the VAB.

OPF-3, the future home of the Boeing CST-100 crew capsule. Mobile Launch Platform 1 is in the background.

The west side of the VAB. High Bay 4 is on the left, High Bay 2 on the right.

An attempt at artistic expression. I think I failed.

The gate to High Bay 2. Note the crawlerway approaches HB-2 but not HB-4. Any future use of HB-4 will require an extension of the crawlerway.

The Utility Annex at the southwest corner of the VAB.

Another look at the Utility Annex. Watch your cigarette butts.

VAB on the left, Launch Control Center on the right. The LCC just got a new coat of paint.

A transporter crawler in the foreground, with OPF-3 behind it and the VAB in the distance.

Mobile Launch Platform 1 on the left, Space Launch System mobile launcher on the right.

The bottom of MLP-1. This platform launched Apollo 13, the last three Moon flights, and the first five Shuttle flights. Note the openings on the bottom for the Solid Rocket Booster exhaust.

MLP-1 to the north of the VAB.

A wormhole opens over the SLS mobile launcher tower. Actually, it's a high-speed image of the sun peeking through the clouds.

A more conventional view of the SLS mobile launcher tower.

The SLS mobile launcher platform. This platform was originally designed for the Ares I program.

The famous rocks that comprise the crawlerway surface. The rocks are harvested from the Alabama and Tennessee Rivers. The Launch Control Center is in the distance to the left, VAB High Bays 1 and 3 to the right.

Launcher Road at Ordnance Road. Not exactly Hollywood and Vine.

The south side of the VAB as seen from the KSC press site. That's the replica orbiter Explorer still waiting for Space Center Houston to send a barge to pick it up. They were due in February. What's the hangup, Houston?

The famous countdown clock.

The countdown clock from a less flattering angle.

The barge canal leading into the Turn Basin and the press site. This canal was the delivery route for the Saturn V stages and later the Space Shuttle's external tank.

The CBS News press facility at the press site. They're the only remaining TV network with a facility at this location.

This was one reason I was out shooting photos today. I wanted to find the location for this 1972 photo with Apollo 17 on the LC-39A pad. Image source:

This appears to be the location of the 1970s-era billboard listing Apollo launches.

The only remnant of the Apollo billboard.


  1. Great pics! Thanks for the search for the billboard remnants. I was there last year and took the Air Force Cape tour, and loved seeing the launch pads sites.

  2. Always enjoy seeing more pictures around KSC!