|Posted on May 10, 2009 10:01:42 PM | Janet Anderson | 1 Comments ||
Day 3: May 10, 2009
It is early Sunday morning and we are off on a bus tour of Kennedy Space Center. Our first stop is the shuttle launch pad 39A where final preparations are being made for the liftoff of Atlantis tomorrow afternoon.
It is almost surreal as the bus approaches the pad. I can’t seem to take it all in -- there are so many things to think about and see. I would like to ask the driver to make the loop around the pad again!
Reed is totally taken by the launch escape system for the astronauts! These are lines (they look like zip lines -- sure they are much more complicated) leading the crew away from the pad should they need to make an emergency escape from the pad. Reed wonders how many times the crew practices the escape. He would like to have a chance to practice the escape!
Our tour around the launch pad ends too quickly and we drive on to the next stop.
As the bus exits the launch pad area the guide points to the right at the launch crawler. The crawler moves the shuttle from the vehicle assembly building to the launch pad. The crawler is a unique piece of equipment and has been in use for more than 40 years.
The bus tour took us to the Space Station Processing Facility where equipment is prepared for launch to space station. There is a lot of ongoing work in this building. The equipment rack that will hold Node 3 is being prepared for its arrival in a few weeks. A logistics module is being loaded with supplies to be transported to station. No photos are allowed in this facility, so unfortunately we do not have any photos to share!
Tags : VAB, ares I-X, atlantis, janet anderson, kennedy space center, launch, space shuttle