||This was pretty-much my first
view of the VAB, even though the photos used here were shot as I was leaving.
I got lucky and the drawbridge was up for a single sailboat, giving me just
enough time to jump out of the car and do a quick pan. Because of the way
my lens shrunk the apparent size of the VAB, I had to use a graphics program
to increase the building's image about 3x to give an idea of what I actually
saw. Even now, this shot really gives no idea of the VAB's bulk.
||The gantry arm and white room
used by the Apollo 11 crew to enter Columbia, just before launch.
Located in the Rocket Garden at the Visitors' Complex, it's open to tourists
and you can make the walk, yourself (since I made the trip determined to
be nothing more than a tourist, I don't mind saying it really was a bit of
a thrill). The Command Module is boilerplate; the white room is surprisingly
small, much smaller than impressions given by "From the Earth to the Moon"
and other dramatizations would indicate. That's a Saturn 1B in the background.
|One of the crawlers was sitting next to the sevice
road next to the crawlerway, about halfway between the VAB and the visitors'
gantry. The bus stopped on the way out to the STS launch pads, but
we couldn't get off and I had to shoot through the window. Even with
my wide-angle lens, I had to do a pan.
|A second view of the crawler,
with the VAB in the background. I shot this on the way back from the
launch pads while the bus was moving. The only lens I had with me was
my wide-angle, so the VAB is in reality much larger than it appears here.
||Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS
112, on pad 39A. The viewing area was the tour's farthest point, on
the beach about halfway between pads 39A and 39B. Once again, I got
lucky; the launch was scheduled to take place 24 hours before I could arrive,
but a hurricane threatened to shut Houston down and the mission was delayed.
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