Talk:Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39

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Update to sidebar needed[edit]

i would do this myself, but i don't know how. the information about the last launch needs to be updated because there was a launch today. thanks all! (talk) 22:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


I can't believe nobody's ever had anything to say about Launch Complex 39! Gabe 03:35, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Does anything ever go on there?--J Clear 15:08, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


Is it correct, when talking about a specific launch pad to still use the term "Launch Complex"? Wouldn't Complex refer to all the 39 pads, crawler ways, VAB, etc.? Wouldn't Launch Pad 39A be better when referring to that pad?--J Clear 15:08, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

The Stub(s)?[edit]

Today, crawler way stubs are visible that would lead to these pads. The stubs are located 1 mile west of LC39A, and 1.5 south of LC39B.

I believe this needs rewriting, as to me it implies two stubs -- as far as I can see, "1 mile west of LC39A" and "1.5 south of LC39B" are the same place, and indeed I can only see one stub, which is there. — Johan the Ghost seance 15:12, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Nice Picture[edit]

S90-48650.jpg I guess it is worth inserting into this article.Mchl 13:07, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

LC-39 A-E[edit]

Why did the NASA want to build 5 Pads? They need one (or two) Pad(s) only. I can't understand that. And two Pads are cheaper than five. --Fritzbox20:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Reply to question... NASA, if it was not forced to adopt the Space Shuttle and instead, was allowed to proceed with the Apollo Applications Program, would have envisioned seeing the building of extra launch facilities for the current run of Saturn V rockets, as well as advanced versions with the F-1A motor and the NERVA nuclear-powered upper stage in place of the S-IVB. Although pads D and E were cancelled due to the cancellation of AAP, the possibility that an LC-39C may be built is still on the table, and most likely be built when missions to Mars commences after the 2030's. Rwboa22 18:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Request: distances and area[edit]

It would improve the article if distances (e.g. between VAB and pads) and the square area of the complex were given. The schematic is great, but it doesn't include a scale! Sdsds 23:42, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Queston re: VAB[edit]

Is the Vertical Assembly Building part of LC-39? The article doesn't currently mention it. The VAB article somewhat implies not, reading, "Once assembled, the Space Transportation System is moved [...] to Launch complex 39." But both the map and the photo in this article seem to show the VAB inside what appear to be the bounds of the launch complex.... (Sdsds - Talk) 06:37, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Reply to question... The VAB is not a part of LC-39 A or B. It is a separate facility located west of the pads. It serves as a storage location for shuttle parts such as the external fuel tank (ET) and it is where the Shuttle is assembled or "stacked" prior to being rolled out to one of the 2 pads. The photo in this article is primarily the VAB. Complex 39A, sight of all lunar mission, is located top right and complex 39 B is top left. FYI, the ENTIRE assembled item is known as the shuttle - the manned vehicle is known as the orbiter.Zippyone1 (talk) 20:30, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

The VAB is most certainly part of LC-39, as are the OPF buildings, the LCC, crawlerway, etc., in addition to the pads. I put a cite for this into the article in the lead section in the appropriate paragraph. Go For TLI (talk) 18:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Future usage[edit]

I reverted what appeared to be a well-intentioned change to this section, regarding which pad (A or B) was to be converted first. Upon doing so, I noted the lack of references for this. With proper references, the article would be less prone to well-intentioned errors. (Sdsds - Talk) 01:48, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Updating after launch[edit]

Could someone spell out the procedure for updating this page after a shuttle launch? Does this already exist someplace else? (sdsds - talk) 02:27, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

History missing details[edit]

There seems to be quite a bit of missing history between the first and second paragraph of the history section (skipping from a planned development in the 1920's to a description of the launch pads). Even though a lot of that missing time has been written about in other articles, It would be good for continuity to include it here. -- (talk) 20:20, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I filled in some history, but now the article seems history-heavy, without going into the details of the complex itself. I think some re-organizing of the article is needed, perhaps to break out a section devoted to each component of LC39, with links to the main articles, if any. Any thoughts on this before I dive in head first? :) Go For TLI (talk) 18:04, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Plans for 39B partial demoltion, and a pretty good history of the pad[edit]

This is a pretty deep article from the mainstream space media on the partial demolition and other work on launch complex 39B after the last space shuttle mission Retired space shuttle launch pad to be dismantled this fall, 2010-09-01, accessed 2010-09-02. It also provides a pretty extensive history on the use of the pad. Cheers. N2e (talk) 18:01, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Status of LC-39B[edit]

I have hidden the following statement in the article: "As of March 2011, LC-39B is undergoing construction for Ares 1-X and Ares Prime." As Constellation has been canceled, I would think construction for Ares would also be halted. This needs a reliable source to be included. -- Donald Albury 12:39, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Question: Railroad Connection[edit]

I know WP isn't realy the place to ask questions but I have the feeling taht I'll get my best shot at an answer here, so... I spent some time flying over the cape this night and found the end of the railroad net that once connected Titusville with Pad 40/41's Industrial Area (it's south east of pad 41) upon following it's track I noticed that there are connections to both pad's of LC39 with the connection to pad A partly cut and a fixed fence installed over both of the tracks. What I'm wondering about is what these where orriginally built for. Anyone knowing that?-- (talk) 01:52, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

There is a lot of information on that in the Draft EIS that KSC issued in order to consider making complex 39 a multi-use facility. Here's the link: Draft Environmental Assessment for Multi-Use of Launch Complexes 39A and 39B at John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida, November 2013.
Actually, there is quite a lot of historical and current descriptive material in that source that might be used to improve this article. Cheers. N2e (talk) 15:45, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Pad 39A - SpaceX lease[edit]

Selection Statement for Lease of Launch Complex 39A

Only SpaceX and Blue Origin showed interest in the pad. NASA granted SpaceX a twenty year exclusive lease of the pad. Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are planned to be launched from it.

--Craigboy (talk) 16:36, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Vertical Processing Facility?[edit]

According to this reliable source article in Florida Today from 2011, the Vertical Processing Facility (VPF) was built in 1964, played a key role in the Apollo program and again in the early Shuttle program (up until the loss of SS Columbia), was mothballed after that, and then torn down in 2010. I don't see it mentioned anywhere in the article. Should it perhaps be mentioned, possibly in the History section? (There does not seem to be any article about it on Wikipedia.) Is it an unimportant facility Complex 39 facility?... kind of like an outbuilding for pumps or a tool shed? ... or is it worth a mention in this article along with whatever role it played in Apollo, Shuttle, etc.? Cheers. N2e (talk) 15:33, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

That's a puzzle. At first I thought maybe this is just another name for the Vehicle Assembly Building, which was first known as the Vertical Assembly Building, but that doesn't make sense per your description. The only other thing that came to mind is the Operations and Checkout Building, essentially two large, vertical altitude chambers. But again that doesn't make sense because the OCB is a registered US Historic Place. Sounds like we need more research. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:14, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Here's a NASA page from 1993: Vertical Processing Facility; apparently used to assemble payloads vertically (might have been used for the Apollo spacecraft stack, and definitely for loading the Shuttle cargo bay, before moving it to the VAB). That would have been my next guess. If mentioned, it probably belongs on the Kennedy Space Center page rather than here since it was located in "KSC's industrial area" and not part of LC 39 per se. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:37, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
So it would seem that this historically existing building would be worthy of mention in the History section of the article, since this article is about the entire complex, not merely the two pads, and it has considerable info on other KSC facilities to support (only) these two pads (the VAB, Crawlerway, etc.). I will endeavor to find some old US government or news media sources for the VPF facility. N2e (talk) 19:51, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I've located some additional sources:

"At the former Vertical Processing Facility (VPF) site, which was demolished in 2011, ..."

"Typically, all of the payload components were fabricated at their sponsor’s laboratories, before being delivered to one of several facilities at KSC or CCAFS for additional processing and build up for flight. ... At KSC, these facilities included the Vertical Processing Facility, the Operations & Checkout Building, and more recently, the Space Station Processing Facility... The components were then moved to one of four facilities for final integration and testing: either the Operations & Checkout Building (horizontal payloads) or the Vertical Processing Facility (vertical payloads) in the Industrial Area of KSC for non-Department of Defense payloads, the Space Station Processing Facility (beginning in 1997) for all ISS components, or the Shuttle Payload Integration Facility within the Solid Motor Assembly Building at CCAFS for Department of Defense payloads. Afterwards, one of two payload canisters, carried by one of two canister transporters, picked up the payload at its processing facility for transport to either the OPF (horizontal payloads) or the launch pad (vertical payloads) for installation into the orbiter."


Hope these sources may become helpful over time. N2e (talk) 20:20, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Was a sound suppression water system used during Saturn V launches?[edit]

The #Sound suppression water system section currently says, "The water discharged onto the launch platform during lift-off muffled the intense sound waves produced by the first stage Rocketdyne F-1 engines." implying it was used during the Apollo program, but the only reference in that section it to a NASA page which says, "The system was first installed at the pad when reflective energy from the top of the Mobile Launch Platform was causing minor damage to thermal curtains on the SRBs and putting stress on the wings." Was the sound suppression water system used for the Saturn V but expanded for the Space Shuttle, or was there no such system for the Saturn V? -- ToE 13:02, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Looking further, Apollo 4#Flight discusses the intense sound from that launch and then says, "NASA later built a sound suppression system that pumped thousands of gallons of water onto the flame trench under the pad.", but I don't see any mention of a such a system in our Apollo 5 (Saturn IB) or Apollo 6 (Saturn V) articles. -- ToE 14:02, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I was going to respond, you raise a good question. I was always under the impression the system was added for Apollo, but I went back and checked the Apollo 4 page reference and saw it was uncited. I think we need to dig a little further into the real-world literature to make sure. I'll go through my contemporary books to see if there is any reference.
BTW, you mention Apollo 5, but that is irrelevant to this subject because it was a completely different pad and a more conventional (in terms of size and power) rocket. They wouldn't have dreamed of the need for sound suppression for that. JustinTime55 (talk) 14:21, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I can't find any evidence the system was added for Apollo; I believe it was in the wrong place. The Shuttle was close enough to the mobile launcher surface that it was in danger; this was not true of the Apollo spacecraft which was located 280 feet above the source of the sound. I've corrected it, and will also correct the Apollo 4 article. Thanks. JustinTime55 (talk) 19:20, 2 February 2015 (UTC)