Author Topic: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle  (Read 101431 times)

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #40 on: 06/09/2011 11:47 PM »
Steely-eyed missle men, hanging out on the GOX Arm Beanie Cap at Pad 39-A.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2011 12:44 PM by 39B »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #41 on: 06/09/2011 11:53 PM »
These are wonderful, thank you for sharing them.:)
Robert
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Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #42 on: 06/10/2011 12:05 AM »
MarkD: That's odd. Why did they do that? They take your photos for a while, then give them back with no explanation  to why.

It's a giant bureaucracy. A huge tentacular machine, staffed by swarms of anonymous humans, not all of whom share in having a well-developed sense of history or vision. I would presume that some functionary or other looked things over, could not see a proper use for any of it as regards his or her own vision (or lack thereof) of how much effort should be put into documentation, and summoned an underling to notify me to come and get my pile of junk. Or maybe my stuff wasn't "official" enough, and not to be trusted because it didn't go through proper channels. Or maybe they were busy that week and didn't even look at it at all. Who can know?


DaveS: Very nice photos 39B! Thanks for the history link as well! Maybe I missed it, but did you ever find out what that SCAPE tech was doing is the PCR?

Glad you like the shots. They're different, that's for sure.

According to the Incident Report that's framed and hanging on the wall behind me, they were working on a hydrazine system in SCAPE, when a burst disk in a pressurized nitrogen line failed. I would suppose that rather than going to all the time and trouble of getting out of SCAPE (it's a big contrapted deal) fixing the burst disk, and then getting back into SCAPE (another big contrapted deal), they just decided to tell the tech who was there in SCAPE to stay in SCAPE and fix the damn thing while everybody else went down to the PTCR or somewhere to have a smoke or something. Or at least that's what it says on the paper. What do I know for certain? Nothing. Not one damn thing.


Ok peoples, I've about had it for the day with this stuff. Gonna knock off work until the mood strikes once again.

Thanks again for the interest, encouragement, and kind words.

Offline kcrick

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #43 on: 06/10/2011 01:24 AM »

Really like the photos and the stories !

Very interesting...
Kevin

Offline Prober

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #44 on: 06/10/2011 01:42 AM »
39B do you still have the negatives on these photos?
 
The pics are great and might be even better.  You can get the negs scanned and make some great pics on your printer.
 
Do you have any other cape work pics?
 
 
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Offline Mark Dave

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #45 on: 06/10/2011 01:50 AM »
I still think these photos should  be put somewhere with the rest of the LC-39 images. Capcomespace.net has a lot of the LC construction photos, the official NASA photos seen on all their sites. Your stuff could help add more to that site. :) Like I said as rare as your photos are, they deserve to be placed in the history books of spaceflight.

Odd that seeing the OAA of LC-39B on the ground level as not long ago it was back in that same spot as the complex was being dismantled.  It and the Lox vent arm will go to the shuttle exhibit at KSC.  your photos should get put there.  Turned into big posters for people to see  it being assembled. "This is the access arm being hoisted  during LC-39 B construction." I also think that perhaps a wreath  should go next to the arm as Challenger did launch from 39B on her fatal 51L mission.  To think, Challenger's crew touched those rails on this arm on that day. It really makes you think.

These photos also gave me ideas for building my own 1/72 scale LC-39 for my shuttle kit. Revell/monogram recently re-released their famous 1/72 scale space shuttle ET/SRB kit. This kit is worth getting too. :)

Do you have more photos of the LoX vent arm and beanie cap?

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #46 on: 06/11/2011 07:21 PM »
Prober: 39B do you still have the negatives on these photos? The pics are great and might be even better.  You can get the negs scanned and make some great pics on your printer.

Yes, I have the negatives, but the last time I looked at 'em, it broke my heart to see that they have not aged very well. Many of them look to be irretrievably damaged. I may look into getting them scanned one day, but it will take an equipment upgrade, and for the time being that's not going to happen on my very limited budget.


MarkD: I still think these photos should  be put somewhere with the rest of the LC-39 images. Capcomespace.net has a lot of the LC construction photos, the official NASA photos seen on all their sites. Your stuff could help add more to that site.  Like I said as rare as your photos are, they deserve to be placed in the history books of spaceflight.

They're now on the internet, and are at the mercy of whoever encounters them. It would be nice to be given credit, should anyone choose to use them, but I'm not about money, and I'm not about exclusionary actions. If any legitimate party was to want to come by and take physical possession of the shots for the purposes of reclaiming and enhancing these images, I would welcome them to it, under the proviso that I get my shots back. Upon my demise they become the possession of my son, so it's not like I'm going to be giving them away on a permanent basis or anything like that.

Odd that seeing the OAA of LC-39B on the ground level as not long ago it was back in that same spot as the complex was being dismantled.  It and the Lox vent arm will go to the shuttle exhibit at KSC.  your photos should get put there.  Turned into big posters for people to see  it being assembled. "This is the access arm being hoisted  during LC-39 B construction."

Whosoever would contract such an undertaking is welcome to do so. My blessings are hereby given.


Ok, now let us get back to work with the scanner, shall we?

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #47 on: 06/11/2011 07:41 PM »
Challenger on B Pad

Bittersweet.

These shots were taken, if I recall correctly, in the week between Christmas and New Year's, very late 1985.

This was the first Shuttle launch off of our brand-new tower.

All work had more or less come to a stop for the holidays, and it was cold this week. There were large masses of ice on the tower, here and there, and up in the air, exposed to the strong northwest wind, you could really feel the cold cut right into you. They say Florida is warm, but that's not always the case, and an examination of record low temperatures during December, January, and February will show that every once in a while it gets pretty cold.

I had the entire tower to myself. Not a single other soul around.

Top left is from just beneath the RCS room, looking at the left side of the orbiter, right where the body first begins to taper down to the nose.

Top right is from the decking between the Hoist Equipment Room and the RCS room, looking north toward the top of the right SRB, which is the one that got them.

Bottom left is from the vicinity of the OMBUU arm, looking at the root of the right wing of the orbiter. (And why they called the OMBUU arm, an arm, I never really could figure, as it was more or less just part of the general structure of the RSS.)
« Last Edit: 06/11/2011 09:13 PM by 39B »

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #48 on: 06/11/2011 07:56 PM »
Challenger on B Pad

The top photograph is taken from the FSS, showing the left SRB.

Bottom photograph is from the RSS, in the area of the accessway to what was called the PBK & Contingency Platforms, if fallible memory serves me well, showing the top of the right wing.

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #49 on: 06/11/2011 08:07 PM »
After Challenger.

I probably shouldn't even be putting this one up on the internet, but oh well.

All these years later it still breaks my heart to think about it, and writing these words is not easy.

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #50 on: 06/11/2011 08:41 PM »
Mixed images.

Top left is the rollout to Pad A of STS-2. (Note the white external tank)

Top right is the same, from inside the RCS room on top of the RSS.

Bottom left is a view of the towers from our field trailer. Note how spare and bare things look. A lot got added on to both towers after this shot was taken.

Bottom right is looking down into the structural skeleton of the RSS.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2011 08:42 PM by 39B »

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #51 on: 06/11/2011 08:50 PM »
Mixed Images.

Top left has an FSS that it still red.

Top right is looking at the shadow of the towers, cast all the way to the LOX tank.

Bottom left is the Flame Trench with Side Flame Deflector and Sound Suppression Water Spray Headers, North Piping Bridge, and cabling crossover platforms on the Hinge Column of the RSS.

Bottom right is looking along the length of the boom of the Hammerhead Crane, out toward the ocean.

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #52 on: 06/11/2011 09:01 PM »
RCS Room, interior looking out, from below. The nose of the orbiter fits snugly into these platform cutouts, and when mated, when you're on the platform just beneath the RCS Room which supports the bottom end of the Rolling Ladder, thereís really not a whole lot of room to maneuver around up in there, and youíve really got to be careful to avoid contacting TPS tiles. The two very sturdy-looking shackles are what suspends the Payload Canister when itís hung up in the mated position with the PCR and theyíre extracting (or, once in a while) inserting payload hardware from it or into it. The funny-looking ladder rolls around suspended on top by a curved monorail (which was lots of fun to fabricate and install, owing to the weirdness of the curve and the tightness of the tolerances for that curve), and is what's used to access the orbiter's cockpit windows.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2011 05:34 PM by 39B »

Offline Sarah

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #53 on: 06/11/2011 09:15 PM »
After Challenger.

I probably shouldn't even be putting this one up on the internet, but oh well.

All these years later it still breaks my heart to think about it, and writing these words is not easy.

I feel the same way. This was my first launch in 2nd grade. It took me a long time to go back to see another one. Thanks again for sharing these.
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Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #54 on: 06/11/2011 09:18 PM »
Panorama shot of the FSS & RSS taken from the end of the boom on the Hammerhead Crane. Look close, and you can see a guy against the handrail on the FSS, contemplating the drop beneath him.

Stairs of Doom To Nowhere. This shot was taken from the right-hand stairway, below the 112 level of the RSS, looking back toward the RSS Hinge Column and the foot of the FSS. These stairways go all the way down to the 100 elevation. Only problem being, is that beneath the bottom riser, itís just air between you and the concrete down there. When the RSS is in the demate position, you stay the hell away from these stairs (even though they do have gates that have to be opened at their tops and their bottoms) and if thereís no MLP parked over the flame trench, you do the same when the RSS is in the mate position. But when the MLP is there, you just step off onto it as if you were stepping onto your living room floor after coming down the stairs from your bedroom. This sort of thing can be alarmingly disorienting every once in a while, and you have to mind where youíre at. Something as enormous as the RSS just does not register in the human brain as being as mobile as it is. You just assume anything that big and solid will remain wherever it is that youíre used to it being. But it doesnít. Once in a while, itís somewhere else, and things are different, and youíd best mind your step. Distractedly walking around with a clipboard in one hand, and an F-sized drawing flapping around in the other, considering how youíre going to get out of the hundred-thousand dollar hole youíre in, only serves to make things worse, and once in a great while youíll catch yourself, whistle under your breath, and hope nobody saw you, and then get back where you belong.

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #55 on: 06/11/2011 09:24 PM »
Sarah: Thanks again for sharing these.

That is sweet, Sarah, thank you for those words. I wonder if I'm doing the right thing sometimes, and this is what tells me I am, and tells me to keep going.

Again, thanks.

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #56 on: 06/11/2011 09:34 PM »
Top left: Monorail beam and doors, just under the RCS Room floor. Thereís a story with this thing, and basically it was a whole lot of trouble and effort to fabricate and install this stuff, all jammed up underneath here, with a pair of doors that opened inward and had an unpleasantly weird fit, and right after weíd gotten it all in there, nice and pretty, they decided they didnít want the damn thing anymore, had us weld those doors shut, and that was that. Ah well.

And by the way, as you're shinnying along against the unyielding steel of those doors, with the loose floppy handrail safety chains brushing against you on the other side, it's a sheer drop to the pad deck. So you don't really want to be looking down as you work your way along this too-narrow bit of platform decking. The first time I ever set foot on a float was right here, several years before this photo was taken, going down about six feet of roped-up ladder which was resting on the float at its bottom end, beneath the too-narrow platform you see in this picture. The whole rig, ladder, float, and all, swayed alarmingly when you touched it, and swayed even more alarmingly when you put your full weight on it. But I went, and I did, and I survived, so I guess it's ok, right? Survive, I may have, but forget, I will not.

Top right: RCS Room interior platforms. Technically, this thing should have been called the FRCS Room, because it provided access to service the FORWARD RCS Thrusters, and there was a pair of ARCS platforms down on the bottom of the RSS to service the AFT RCS Thrusters, but for whatever reason, the RCS Room was the RCS Room and not the FRCS Room. Nobody ever got the two places mixed up that I ever heard of, so I suppose allís well that ends well, right?

Bottom left: Looking up toward yellow sheave block of the Hammerhead Crane. Lots of platforms and framing all over the place, including the curiously-shaped Crossover Platforms that surrounded the Hinge Column at various elevations.

Bottom right: Left OMS Pod cutout at the 135 level, with the left-hand PBK & Contingency Platform silhouetted against the sky to its immediate right.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2011 05:16 PM by 39B »

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #57 on: 06/11/2011 10:02 PM »
Top left: VAB in the distance, as seen from the top of the RSS, between the back of the RCS Room and the front of the Hoist Equipment Room.

Top right: The field trailers for all the construction firms that were working the pad. If you look close, you can see my bossís car, parked in the parking lot. Itís a white four-door with a black top, right in front of a shorter trailer that has a darker roof. I worked in the trailer when I wasnít hanging by my tail from high steel up on the towers. And my boss, by the way, was one of the best human beings Iíve ever met in my entire life. I cannot express my thanks to him for all he did for me when I was working out there. Thanks, RW, thanks for every last bit of it.

Bottom left: Pad A in the distance, as seen from inside the Payload Changeout Room, with the top level of the PCR Extensible Planks fully extended on either side, butted together, filling the gap. The KU Band Antenna Access Platform support haunch thatís mentioned in my psychotic misadventure story referenced previously, lived directly beneath the right-hand set of these extensible planks, up under this top platform level. As you might be able to see, the planks come out at an angle and do not butt together squarely. And it was this angle that got us. The drawing showed the extensible planks, and their support framing, as being without that angle. Itís quite amazing what can ensue from such microscopically trivial first causes.

Bottom right: Looking down at the pad deck through the OMS Pod cutout on the RSS.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2011 10:11 PM by 39B »

Offline 39B

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #58 on: 06/11/2011 10:23 PM »
Top: VAB and last LUT with Milk Stool, seen through the Stair Tower and Primary Structural Framing of the RSS.

Center: More Stairs of Doom.

Bottom: Flame Trench and Flame Deflector. The Flame Deflector, by the way, was coated in a sort of refractory gunite called Fondue Fyre. What a perfectly wonderful name! Iíve always love it just because it sounds so weird.

Also, down under that Flame Deflector is a whole weird and wonderful dark world. The interior of the pad is not solid all the way through. There are catacombs down there, complete with growing stalactites up in dim corners, the occasional cornered raccoon, or who knows what else, spooky, echoey, creepy dim halls and mystery rooms, and in the middle of it all, around a perfectly nondescript corner, thereís a little door, that you can stoop through, and come out up inside of the Flame Deflector. I always loved spelunking in the catacombs, and did so at every opportunity.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2011 11:58 PM by 39B »

Offline Prober

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Re: Launch Complex 39-B Construction Photos - Space Shuttle
« Reply #59 on: 06/12/2011 04:05 PM »
Prober: 39B do you still have the negatives on these photos? The pics are great and might be even better.  You can get the negs scanned and make some great pics on your printer.

Yes, I have the negatives, but the last time I looked at 'em, it broke my heart to see that they have not aged very well. Many of them look to be irretrievably damaged. I may look into getting them scanned one day, but it will take an equipment upgrade, and for the time being that's not going to happen on my very limited budget.



You might be surprised how cheap you can do this now.  Years ago it would be in the thousands of dollars for a decent digital conversion system. Now dirt cheap.  Two ways to do it. First off we are talking about around 2400 dpi transfers. Once you get it digital some of even the free software that comes with the scanner, can help you clean up any issues.

Epson makes scanners that transfer from paper or the lid becomes a backlight film scanner. The other type does film, negs only.  If youdo the research you can buy dirt cheap on ebay. 

Wish you all the best.

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