Astronaut transfer van

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Shuttle-era Astrovan at Launch Pad 39A

The astronaut transfer van, also known as the Astrovan, is a NASA vehicle used at the Kennedy Space Center to transport astronauts from the Operations and Checkout Building to the launch pad before a launch mission, to the pad for launch dress rehearsals, and back to Operations and Checkout Building following a shuttle landing.[1]

According to driver Ronnie King, the astronauts like the history-filled vehicle, even if it is somewhat old, and even argued against upgrading the vehicle. "We were staged to get a new one," King said, and added that word came that the rookie astronauts wanted to keep the vehicle that was a tradition of the astronauts who traveled those nine miles to the pad before them.[1]

During the twenty-minute drive from the Operations and Checkout Building to the launch pad for shuttle launches, the Astrovan usually stops at least once along the way. An astronaut rides with the crew to the Shuttle Landing Facility, and is let off there to board the Shuttle Training Aircraft and assess local weather conditions. Senior NASA management often ride along as well, and are dropped off at the Launch Control Center.[1]

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  1. ^ a b c d Mansfield, Cheryl L. (July 15, 2008). "Catching a Ride to Destiny". NASA. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Krum, Collin (October 7, 2015). "These Are The Earth Cars Of A Space Agency". Jalopnik. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Grinter, Kay (August 6, 2010). "Crew Transport Evolves from Tractor Pull". Spaceport News. NASA. Retrieved March 13, 2018.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.