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Happy Moonday

By Brian | July 16, 2009 | Share on Facebook

Forty years ago, they went there to begin a “giant leap for mankind.” Seven months ago, my family and I went there to begin a “guided tour for a couple of hours.” Launchpad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center, roughly forty years apart:

Watching the launch today, I can’t help but marvel at what we accomplished, but also at how positively primitive the technology was at the time. I also marvel at how, now that we have people living and working in outer space for months at a time, a similar launch is nothing more than a brief story on the evening news.

One giant leap, indeed…

Topics: The Future is Now | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Happy Moonday”

  1. jason says at July 17th, 2009 at 1:43 am :
    Cool juxtaposition, Brian. You know, I’m ashamed to admit this given all my space-related gushing, but I didn’t realize until recently that the same pad was used for both Apollo and the space shuttle… the shuttle’s gantry is so different looking, I guess I just never made the connection. And apparently I was napping through the tour at KSC, too, because I’m sure they would’ve mentioned something like that!

  2. Brian says at July 17th, 2009 at 7:52 am :
    Actually, Jason, there are two launchpads now. 39-A is the one they used for all the moon shots. Many of the shuttles launch from 39-B, which you can see here. They are essentially identical, of course, since they launch the same shuttles.

    Also, if you look at the full picture of 39-A (here), you’ll see a giant crane and tower that they’re adding to the gantry as we speak. This is to support the spacecraft in the Constellation program, which will follow the Shuttle Program after it’s last flight (May 31, 2010), and will eventually take us back to the moon, and also on to Mars (or so the plans suggest…)

  3. jason says at July 18th, 2009 at 3:06 am :
    Oh, wow – I knew about the shuttle’s impending retirement and the Constellation program, of course, but didn’t realize they were already modifying the pad to accommodate the new ship.

    I visited Kennedy back in ’97, but it appears I’ve forgotten many things, or didn’t fully comprehend them when I was there. Something.


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