Launch Control Center - Firing Room #4
Launch Complex 39 - Kennedy Space Center
16 June 2012

For a limited time NASA is allowing tours of the Launch Complex 39 Launch Control Center (LCC) and Firing Room #4 that oversaw the final 21 Space Shuttle launches starting in 2006. (See photos from a return visit on 18 January 2013 that includes two panoramas taken inside the Firing Room.)

The Launch Control Center sits next to the Vehicle Assembly Building. There are four firing rooms to control launches at Pads 39A and 39B. Firing Room #4 is behind the left block of windows. Our guide noted a number of times that if the Vehicle Assembly Building is the heart of Kennedy Space Center, the Launch Control Center is its brain.
The main entrance to the LCC.
Along one wall in the lobby are the mission patches for the 152 missions that the LCC has conducted so far, beginning with the Apollo Program, including Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the Ares 1-X test launch, and the Space Shuttle Program. The future will tell how many more plaques are added to the wall.
A sampling of the plaques. The plaques have the launch and landing date for each mission. Two of the Space Shuttle mission plaques, 51-L (not shown), Challenger's last flight, and STS-107, Columbia's last flight, only have the launch dates.
Opposite the wall of plaques is a large mural painted in the 1980s illustrating the history of United States manned space flight up to that time along with some expectations for the future.
The lobby also contains a display of launch control consoles from different eras (not shown) along with a detailed model of the Vehicle Assembly Building and the LCC.
The Space Shuttle flags hang alongside the blue NASA flag and the Stars & Stripes. After a detailed tour of the exhibits in the lobby, the tour moved up to the third floor to visit Firing Room #4 > > >
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