Author Topic: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....  (Read 6086 times)

Offline Keltisch WerWolf

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I was finally able to do the Kennedy Space Center - Cape Canaveral: Then and Now tour and what I found is heartbreaking. The utter state of disrepair at the museum and its hardware some of the only surviving rockets and space flight vehicles and service structures are rusting and rotting away. We need to make our voice heard to protect and preserve this National treasure and Landmarks...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #1 on: 07/14/2014 05:50 PM »
I was finally able to do the Kennedy Space Center - Cape Canaveral: Then and Now tour and what I found is heartbreaking. The utter state of disrepair at the museum and its hardware some of the only surviving rockets and space flight vehicles and service structures are rusting and rotting away. We need to make our voice heard to protect and preserve this National treasure and Landmarks...
If you are talking specifically about the Cape Canaveral AF Space Museum, yes it has long been a place of suffering for outdoor "rocket garden" artifacts.  The good news is that the Museum has been steadily removing rockets from the "garden", restoring them, and storing most of them inside a Cape Canaveral hangar where they will no longer suffer from rain, hail, corrosive salt air, bird droppings, and so on.  That big Delta 4 stage will likely never see such a restoration cycle. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #2 on: 07/14/2014 05:54 PM »
service structures are rusting and rotting away.

There is no sense in maintaining an abandoned in place structure.   There is no need to do anything to LC-34.
« Last Edit: 07/14/2014 05:55 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #3 on: 07/14/2014 05:56 PM »
Also, it isn't the 45th's museum, it is the USAF's.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #4 on: 07/14/2014 05:57 PM »
Any reason they won't do the same to preserve the Delta 4?

I remember my first visit back in the early 90's,you could still drive to and park at the museum.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #5 on: 07/14/2014 06:00 PM »
http://afspacemuseum.org/virtual/

There is a Hangar R virtual tour and also the history center.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #6 on: 07/14/2014 06:01 PM »
Am I seeing things, or did they take the derrick down?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #7 on: 07/14/2014 06:02 PM »
Am I seeing things, or did they take the derrick down?

In refurb

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #8 on: 07/14/2014 06:04 PM »
Any reason they won't do the same to preserve the Delta 4?

I remember my first visit back in the early 90's,you could still drive to and park at the museum.
That's right, members of the general public used to be able to stop at the CCAFS gate and ask for a pass to go to the museum, on weekends I think, and of course only on days when the range was clear.  9/11 changed all that, and I suspect that may have contributed to the deterioration of the rocket garden since.

As for the Delta 4 stage, first it is huge.  Second, it has spray-on foam insulation that won't be replaced and it has a lot of composite parts that probably won't age well outdoors over the long term.  Third, I can't imagine an indoor place big enough to park it for years at a time.   

 - Ed Kyle

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #9 on: 07/14/2014 06:20 PM »
Sadly, or perhaps appropriately, the Apollo 1 launch pad has been "Abandoned in Place" meaning that no maintenance will be done on that pad, nor will it ever be used for another spaceflight.

I remember how I felt when I was younger and first went to that site.  A feeling of sadness and lost oprotunities, but most of all, sorrow for the three who lost their lives, and never got their shot at the moon.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline Keltisch WerWolf

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #10 on: 07/14/2014 07:07 PM »
I was finally able to do the Kennedy Space Center - Cape Canaveral: Then and Now tour and what I found is heartbreaking. The utter state of disrepair at the museum and its hardware some of the only surviving rockets and space flight vehicles and service structures are rusting and rotting away. We need to make our voice heard to protect and preserve this National treasure and Landmarks...
If you are talking specifically about the Cape Canaveral AF Space Museum, yes it has long been a place of suffering for outdoor "rocket garden" artifacts.  The good news is that the Museum has been steadily removing rockets from the "garden", restoring them, and storing most of them inside a Cape Canaveral hangar where they will no longer suffer from rain, hail, corrosive salt air, bird droppings, and so on.  That big Delta 4 stage will likely never see such a restoration cycle. 

 - Ed Kyle

Ed I understand some things get left by the wayside, and it says 45th Space Wing right on the entrance to the museum. Im a tour guide that goes to Kennedy and its what I specialize in, and when I tell my guests to go and do these tours and now I see what they have told me it breaks my heart. and no none of them have been reparied. The man who was doing it as of last year met someone according to the Kennedy Education Dept. Rep and the funding has ceased so they still continue to rot away...

Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #11 on: 07/14/2014 07:12 PM »
People can go to History Center on their own, which is outside the gate.

Tuesday-Friday 9AM-2PM
Saturday 9AM-5PM
Sunday Noon-4PM
« Last Edit: 07/14/2014 07:14 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #12 on: 07/14/2014 07:13 PM »

That's right, members of the general public used to be able to stop at the CCAFS gate and ask for a pass to go to the museum, on weekends I think, and of course only on days when the range was clear.  9/11 changed all that, and I suspect that may have contributed to the deterioration of the rocket garden since.


Sequestration stopped the direct tours in June 2013. 

Offline Nicolas PILLET

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #13 on: 07/14/2014 07:48 PM »
What is the rocket on picture 6344 ? It looks like a Delta IV...
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #14 on: 07/14/2014 10:24 PM »
What is the rocket on picture 6344 ? It looks like a Delta IV...
That's the Delta IV CBC Pathfinder, or Static Fire Unit, that performed test firings at Stennis and was used to mechanically check out the some elements of the new launch pad.  It sat outside the SLC 37 HIF for a few years before Boeing (or ULA) donated, or loaned, it to the museum.
http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0105/29delta4/
http://afspacemuseum.org/displays/DeltaIVCBC/

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/14/2014 11:43 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline robertross

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #15 on: 07/14/2014 11:57 PM »
I was finally able to do the Kennedy Space Center - Cape Canaveral: Then and Now tour and what I found is heartbreaking. The utter state of disrepair at the museum and its hardware some of the only surviving rockets and space flight vehicles and service structures are rusting and rotting away. We need to make our voice heard to protect and preserve this National treasure and Landmarks...
If you are talking specifically about the Cape Canaveral AF Space Museum, yes it has long been a place of suffering for outdoor "rocket garden" artifacts.  The good news is that the Museum has been steadily removing rockets from the "garden", restoring them, and storing most of them inside a Cape Canaveral hangar where they will no longer suffer from rain, hail, corrosive salt air, bird droppings, and so on.  That big Delta 4 stage will likely never see such a restoration cycle. 

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, the elements are very cruel. It's good to know they are protecting some of the artifacts, but it would (obviously) be ideal if they were protected indoors now, in a sheltered hangar, slowing the deterioration, while still allowing tours in. I know, $$$.

I will always make this tour part of my KSC/CCAFS visits - I just loved the place, despite the conditions. Although the Saturn V Visitor Center is a jewel, it seemed too 'touristy' for me. I found this quaint little area a great place to soak up the nostalgia of years gone by, as if it were still 'yesterday'.

I find these types of tours help extend people's stays in an area, adding to the revenue stream that seems so desparately needed. Once a launch goes up, the obvious question is: now what?
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline jsgirald

service structures are rusting and rotting away.

There is no sense in maintaining an abandoned in place structure.   There is no need to do anything to LC-34.

Well, is it not protected as a historical landmark? Obviously, no need to keep them operational but some sort of preservation maybe?
"For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert".

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #17 on: 07/15/2014 12:27 AM »
service structures are rusting and rotting away.

There is no sense in maintaining an abandoned in place structure.   There is no need to do anything to LC-34.

Well, is it not protected as a historical landmark? Obviously, no need to keep them operational but some sort of preservation maybe?
It is a National Landmark since 1984, along with "Launch Pads 5, 6, 14, 19, 26, 34, the mobile service tower at Pad 13, and the original Mission Control Room".  But that Landmark status does not guarantee anything.  Since 1984, the tower at LC 13 has been dismantled, Mercury Mission Control demolished, and the mobile tower at LC 26 dismantled.  The decaying Cape museum that we are discussing here encompasses LC 5,6,and 26.

Although an obvious spot to remember the lost Apollo crew, for me LC 34 is just as importantly the place where the very first Saturn I and Saturn IB/Apollo flights and the very first manned Apollo (Apollo 7) mission lifted off.  If someone proposed demolishing and rebuilding it as a new launch complex I would be all for it - as I suspect would Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/15/2014 12:28 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline robertross

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #18 on: 07/15/2014 12:44 AM »

Although an obvious spot to remember the lost Apollo crew, for me LC 34 is just as importantly the place where the very first Saturn I and Saturn IB/Apollo flights and the very first manned Apollo (Apollo 7) mission lifted off.  If someone proposed demolishing and rebuilding it as a new launch complex I would be all for it - as I suspect would Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, true enough; I believe they would as well. To continue what they were acheiving, yes, that would be a great honour.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #19 on: 07/15/2014 12:55 AM »

Although an obvious spot to remember the lost Apollo crew, for me LC 34 is just as importantly the place where the very first Saturn I and Saturn IB/Apollo flights and the very first manned Apollo (Apollo 7) mission lifted off.  If someone proposed demolishing and rebuilding it as a new launch complex I would be all for it - as I suspect would Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, true enough; I believe they would as well. To continue what they were acheiving, yes, that would be a great honour.

I would have to think they would as well. 

I toured this museum back in March.  And we just were not given much time there on the Then and Now Tour.  We toured both block houses and could not even walk out to the Redstone on the launch pad because of potholes in the grounds.  We had about 10 minutes to look at the rocket garden and go to the gift shop.  Or go to the bathroom!  This was the only tour there that day.  If their only funds are through the tours, I don't see how they can afford the upkeep. 

The interior museum was amazing, with a lot of fantastic displays, including a USAF Gemini.  But, once again, you get very little time to enjoy the museum.  I just photographed as much as I could so I could look at it later.

Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #20 on: 07/15/2014 12:59 AM »
  If their only funds are through the tours, I don't see how they can afford the upkeep. 


They get no funds through the tours.  All the workers are volunteers.

Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #21 on: 07/15/2014 01:00 AM »

Well, is it not protected as a historical landmark? Obviously, no need to keep them operational but some sort of preservation maybe?

Why would you want to preserve a concrete pedestal?

Offline jsgirald


Well, is it not protected as a historical landmark? Obviously, no need to keep them operational but some sort of preservation maybe?

Why would you want to preserve a concrete pedestal?

Well, believe it or not, that sort of things happen all the time around here (in Europe I mean) as long as it has some "historical value". The end result is that you can find 'pieces of concrete' surrounded by neatly trimmed gardens and polished plaques all over the place.  :)
« Last Edit: 07/15/2014 11:52 AM by jsgirald »
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #23 on: 07/15/2014 12:02 PM »
Goddard's original launch site is now the middle of a golf course, marked by a simple stone marker...
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Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #24 on: 07/15/2014 01:31 PM »

Well, believe it or not, that sort of things happen all the time around here (in Europe I mean) as long as it has some "historical value". The end result is that you can find 'pieces of concrete' surrounded by neatly trimmed gardens and polished plaques all over the place.  :)

The rest of the pad is left as is, as it is also abandoned in place. 

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #25 on: 07/15/2014 02:12 PM »

Well, believe it or not, that sort of things happen all the time around here (in Europe I mean) as long as it has some "historical value". The end result is that you can find 'pieces of concrete' surrounded by neatly trimmed gardens and polished plaques all over the place.  :)

The rest of the pad is left as is, as it is also abandoned in place. 
Worth pointing out too that the only reason that the concrete structures and blockhouse remain at LC 34 is that it was deemed too costly to demolish them in 1972.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/15/2014 02:12 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #26 on: 07/15/2014 03:18 PM »
When where the concrete structures removed from LC-37? Was it when the pad was turned over for Delta IV operations?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #27 on: 07/15/2014 03:28 PM »
The launcher pedestal was metal.  And the umbilical tower support and PTCR still exists as the SEB

Offline IslandPlaya

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #28 on: 07/15/2014 08:17 PM »
Now that's a rocket!
Cheers Jim!

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #29 on: 07/15/2014 08:54 PM »
When where the concrete structures removed from LC-37? Was it when the pad was turned over for Delta IV operations?
As Jim noted, only the metal (launcher base, umbilical and service towers, etc.) was removed.  Both LC 34 and LC 37 were held in caretaker status from 1968 until 1972 in case they were needed for Saturn IB Apollo Applications missions.  NASA finally decided to move Saturn IB to KSC LC 39 and sometime around 1972-73 the original Saturn complexes were dismantled.  Both sites still retain their massive blockhouses, though not used as such at SLC 37 today.  SLC 37 sat decaying like LC 34 until McDonnell Douglas/Boeing selected it for Delta IV.  Rebuilding began during the late 1990s I believe.  As Jim noted, today's SLC 37B is not actually on the same spot as the original LC 37B.  A completely new pad was built just east of the old pad, leaving the old umbilical tower base and support building still intact.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/15/2014 08:54 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Prober

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #30 on: 07/16/2014 04:08 PM »
  If their only funds are through the tours, I don't see how they can afford the upkeep. 


They get no funds through the tours.  All the workers are volunteers.

Jim, who is running this then?   Who gets the funds?
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #31 on: 07/16/2014 04:27 PM »
  If their only funds are through the tours, I don't see how they can afford the upkeep. 


They get no funds through the tours.  All the workers are volunteers.

Jim, who is running this then?   Who gets the funds?

Money comes from a museum foundation, according to the following web page:
http://afspacemuseum.org/foundation/
There's a page for tax deductible donations, so we can all put our money where our mouths are!
http://www.capemuseumgiftshop.org/shop/page/2

 -Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/16/2014 04:29 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Appalling state of 45th Space Wing Museum in CC AFS.....
« Reply #32 on: 07/17/2014 03:45 AM »
  If their only funds are through the tours, I don't see how they can afford the upkeep. 


They get no funds through the tours.  All the workers are volunteers.

Yes, the workers are volunteers and they do a damn good job, but that wasn't my point.  Where would money come from to restore and maintain the museum if they get no money from tours?

Edit: Oh, thanks edkyle answered it.

Maybe the gift shop could contribute more if they did get more than one tour of 25 people a day.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2014 03:48 AM by Ronpur50 »

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