NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is nearly six decades old – it was officially formed on July 1, 1962 as a separate entity from the Marshall Space Travel Center in Alabama. The construction process began not long after.
At that time, “Spacecraft Launch Operations Management“operated by Wernher von Braun and his team of German scientists based in Marshall. But NASA leaders realized they needed their own facilities in Florida, next to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Do there, they created “Spacecraft Launch Operations Center“on nearby Merritt Island. President Lyndon B. Johnson renamed the facility a Kennedy Space Center a week after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963 in Dallas.
As plans for the Apollo Program were developed, NASA soon realized that it needed a large building to assemble the Saturn V missiles used for landing on the Moon. So they embarked on a construction called “Longitudinal Assembly Building“(Vertical Assembly Building (VAB), where the giant rocket will be mounted vertically before launching the launcher.
This 160-meter building fell to the top floor in 1965 and completed in 1966. Images taken during the construction of the VAB – a building that required nearly 90,000 tons of steel – were as majestic as the photos taken in the court. home finished. But NASA officials at the time wanted to make it clear that this building was not built because NASA wanted it, but because they had plans for it later.
“This building is not a monument“- Kurrt Debus, a German rocket scientist who oversaw the construction of a facility in Florida in 1965, said.”It is a tool that if you want, you can use it to cater to large space vehicles. So if people are impressed by its enormous size, then they should know that size is an important element of the missile transport systems needed to give the United States the ability to do anything. Anything that meets the national purpose in the universe“.
Director of Kurrt Debus Center spoke at VAB project in 1965
Even before the construction was completed, VAB’s name was changed from “Vertical” to “Vehicle Assembly Building“(Vehicle Assembling Building) because it was thought that this building would continue to be used to launch vehicles other than the Saturn V. And it is, as it has been serving space shuttle from 1981 to 2011. After returning to Earth, the spacecraft will be put into VAB after a refurbishment process inside the Orbital Processing Facility.
After the shuttles were given a “retirement” nine years ago, the building was abandoned for a long time. But according to Debus in 1965, it was built to serve large American missiles, and probably will be put back into use soon. VAB has 4 elevated berths, which are expected to be used for various purposes over the next decade. One of them will be for NASA’s Space Launch System, and one will be for Northrop Grumman’s Omega donkey.
The future of both large missiles has not been determined – both exist only if the US government continues to invest (NASA will take SLS missiles, while the US Space Forces will take on Omega). – but no matter what rocket, VAB will still be there.