Visitors allowed in VAB Building at Kennedy Space Center for first time in 30 years!

Filed under: Florida News,Kennedy Space Center |

The last time a visitor was permitted to take a look in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center was on 13 December 1978 so we were delighted to be among the first to take a tour of the building since then. Kennedy Space Center opened its doors on 1st November 2011 to visitors on the KSC Up-Close Tour and it was an opportunity to see the building that was built specifically for the assembly of the massive Saturn V rocket, which stood at 363 feet.

The building really is huge and that’s the first impression you get as you disembark your tour bus from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The building measures 525 feet tall (160 meters), 716 feet long (218 meters) and 518 feet wide (158 meters.) Immediately you eye is drawn to the American flag that is painted on the side of the VAB. Over 6,000 gallons were needed when the flag was painted in 1976 and it measures 209 feet by 110 feet (64 x 33.5 meters).  The blue field is the size of a regulation basketball court and each stripe on the flag is as big as the tour buses used to transport visitors around KSC at approximately 9 feet (2.7 meters) wide. For good measure, each of the stars on the flag is 6 feet (1,83 meters) across and the NASA insignia or “meatball” was added in 1998, replacing the star logo of America’s bicentennial.

The tour is a really great way to get up close and personal with Kennedy Space Center and this once in a lifetime opportunity is made even more special, for a very limited time, as guests may get to see a space shuttle orbiter inside the VAB as they are being prepared for display in their new homes in Los Angeles, CA., Washington D.C. and Florida.

The VAB is a special building and guests will be able to walk alongside the edge of the Transfer Aisle while a tour guide provides a brief overview of the work done inside there. Another highlight is a chance to see the 456 foot tall high bay doors and the two 325 ton bridge cranes that were used to lift the shuttle orbiters and mate them to their external tank and solid rocket boosters with pinpoint accuracy. Signage also shows prospective operations that will take place within the VAB for NASA’s newest space exploration program, Space Launch System, or SLS. Also, visitors can see the banners that were signed by thousands of KSC workers showing support for each of the space shuttle missions.

More photos at and here’s some video…

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