Great stuff - thanks! I saw Atlantis stacked in the VAB (main engines
removed, leaving one hell of a hole), and will never forget it. The
first shock was getting off of an elevator to see a stucco wall - the
tank. Pictures being as available as they are now, it probably won't
surprise many of you to know that all of tiles are numbered (which makes
sense since no two are alike, IIRC). It caught me off guard at the time.
We eventually worked our way up to the crew cabin level, and had a great
view of the orbiter, tank and boosters, and the struts between them.
The stack looked too big to fly, and the crew cabin way too small to
take into a hard vacuum followed by re-entry.
Remember the tiny looking tube running down the side of tank? It isn't
so tiny. The mobile launcher is worth a tour on it own. There is
enough electronics in there to make me wonder how they get it all
working at one time, though that is probably not necessary. I hear the
pad is worse.
Thanks for the link. It's excellent.
I've been all over the VAB over the years. Those are excellent pictures
but they simply can't do it justice. No pictures can. That building is
flat out huge but there isn't anything in the pictures that will allow
you to scale it in your mind because you can't see enough of it in a
Standing in the main aisle it is hard to figure out how the shuttle will
get from there to the other side of the wall in the assembly area. Then
looking up till your neck hurts, you see a "door" that is so high up you
can easily miss it. That "little door" way up there is big enough to
pass the shuttle through standing on end! It is so far up it doesn't
look very big from floor level. The "forklift" that installs the SSME
is pretty huge too.
The station parts are pretty big as well. Some of them (modules and
solar array launch packages) fill the Shuttle bay. The station itself
is getting bigger with every assembly launch. It is a magnificent
When people were working on Y2K running around worrying about database
crashes ending life as we know it (which didn't happen) I used to tell
folks who asked what I was doing about it "I'm not doing anything, I'm
working on Y5B".
Some of them got it, some didn't.
Hey somebody (anybody) help!! I couldn't figure out from the picture where
the 'payload goes'. It looks huge (there are people standing near the
bottom). Does it get attached to the shuttle? Does it get shoved up the
shuttles butt? Do any of the pictures show where/how the payload gets
I saw it getting built in the early 1960s when I'd be down at Canaveral
for launches of the smaller rockets of those days. I believe the
building was completed around 1965.
Over the years I've heard that the VAB is such a tall "one story
building" that without deliberate prevention means, clouds can form near
the ceiling and rain falls inside.
I don't know if that's an urban legend or not, and cites on the web have
it both ways.
On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 17:47:04 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,
"William Wixon" quickly quoth:
I wonder how she perfected those particular muscles...
I'd give odds she can spin her tassles in opposite directions, too.
Very cool. The fuel injection and plug wires stumped me, though. It
was unclear how they were handled in the vid.
Grab a free copy of OpenOffice off the Sun site. It has a free
After all, it is those who have a deep and real inner life who
are best able to deal with the irritating details of outer life.
-- Evelyn Underhill