Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nerdy NASA News

While in Florida, Mr. D took a behind the scenes tour of the NASA facility at Kennedy Space Center. Most commoners don't get to have such a close look at the space industry. :-)

This building, the VAB as it's known, is the fourth largest building in the world by volume as well as the largest one story building. It's the Vehicle Assembly Building for the space shuttle and rockets, and it can be seen for miles away. Look how small those people are in comparison to the VAB.

Just some interesting facts I came across: Each of the stars on the American flag painted on the building is 6 feet across, the blue field is the size of a regulation basketball court, and the stripes are as wide as a standard road lane. The interior volume of the building is so vast, NASA employees have reported it has its own weather including, "rain clouds forming below the ceiling on very humid days." You can thank me later for expanding your scientific knowledge. It could be a nice ice breaker at your next gathering.

D. was able to go in and stand by the newest rocket and under one of the space shuttles not in use. I do have pictures, but unless I want someone official showing up at my door, I had better not post them.

However, here's a very close look at the launch pad for the rocket they are currently assembling. Those tall towers surrounding the launch pad are lightening rods.

And here's the infamous countdown clock with my equally infamous husband. :-)

Oh, and if you want to see what us commoners can view of the launch pad, here's the closest picture I could get of the same site.

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