Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center
14 April 2012
Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center sits temporarily frozen in time, left unchanged since 8 July 2011when Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off on the last flight (STS-135) of the Space Shuttle Program. The Mobile Launch Platform from which Atlantis lifted off is still in place, a forlorn reminder of past accomplishments.
A side view of LC-39A shows in center the fixed service structure tower, and to the left of that, the Rotating Service Structure. The RSS is on rails and could swing around and encapsulate a Space Shuttle on the pad, providing weather protection as well as a clean room environment to open the Shuttle cargo bay doors to load cargo. Most pieces of large cargo would be loaded at the launch pad.
A close-up view of the White Room at the end of the swing arm through which astronauts would enter the Space Shuttle on launch day.
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