Launch Tower

New Launch Tower

More from Cape Canaveral – this new launch tower, similar to the Apollo versions, is for NASA’s new generation of heavy lifting rockets. It sits on the crawlers (I will post some pictures of one in the next few days) and carries the rocket to the launch site. This tower will fit in the Vehicle Assembly building in the previous posts, and if you look at the people here to give scale, that might give some idea of the size of the VAB. The last image might be  a little hard to register in 3D, but the spatial sense of the ground plane works well once you get it.

Edit: I was back at Cape Canaveral and was told this time that the tower was built for a program that was cancelled and will be adapted for the next generation of rockets. While the main infrastructure at Cape Canaveral was constructed around the Apollo program, that huge investment now frames the new programmes, as it is too expensive to build new launch sites and make the VAB larger.

View through hole that takes the rocket blast

The view above shows the tower form the hold in the portable pad that takes the blast form the rocket engines. The spouts around the edge shoot huge volumes of water under the rockets for two purposes. One is to cook the structure in the intense heat. The other is to absorb the low frequency sound that would otherwise bounce back and destroy the rocket.

Stair

A stair to provide access to the pad, presumably when it is in position – there was a service and access tower at the parking position to provide a stair while the tower is in storage.

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