The GUCP released from the ET at launch and fell away with a curtain of water sprayed across it for protection from flames. An elevated water tank on a 290-foot (88 m) tower near each pad stored 300,000 U.S. gallons (1,100,000 liters) of water, which was released onto the mobile launcher platform just before engine ignition. “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. NASA launches from pads 39A and 39B have been supervised from the NASA Launch Control Center (LCC), located 3 miles (4.8 km) from the launch pads. By early 2011, NASA began informal discussions on use of the pads and facilities by private companies to fly missions for the commercial space market, culminating in a 20-year lease agreement with SpaceX for Pad 39A. Launch Complex 39 (LC-39) is a rocket launch site at the John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida, United States. The thrust to allow the Space Shuttle to achieve orbit was provided by a combination of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) and the RS-25 engines. The Lunar Module ascent stage with moon-walking astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr. approaching for a rendezvous with the Apollo Command Module manned by Michael Collins.  The work on both the HIF building and the pad was substantially complete by late 2015. Where did the launch take place?  Also in 2015, the launch mount for the Falcon Heavy was constructed on Pad 39A over the existing infrastructure. Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. This site became the Joint Long Range Proving Ground in 1949 and was renamed Patrick Air Force Base in 1950 and Patrick Space Force Base in 2020. Initial plans envisioned four pads (five were considered) evenly spaced 8,700 feet (2,700 m) apart to avoid damage in the event of an explosion on a pad.  In the following months, the Falcon Heavy launch was delayed multiple times and eventually pushed back to February 2018.. The two men spent the next two hours taking photographs, recording their impressions of the landscape, collecting piles of moon rocks and soil specimens, and deploying a package of scientific experiments, some which would stay on the moon after they left. Otherwise, payloads would have already been pre-installed at the Orbiter Processing Facility and transported within the orbiter's cargo bay.  From there, the crew took shelter in a bunker. "As America's premier spaceport, we're always looking for new and innovative ways to meet America's launch needs, and one area that was missing was small class payloads", Cabana said. Neil Armstrong stepped on to its surface on 21 July 1969. When the lunar launch complex was designed, it was designated as Launch Complex 39. Left - Portrait of the Apollo 11 crew: Neil Armstrong, commander (on left); Michael Collins, command module pilot (mid); and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, lunar module pilot.Right - The crewmen leave the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the prelaunch countdown, then are loaded into the van for the drive to Launch Complex 39A.  This document included plans for the construction of additional structures at LC-39A to support Starship launches, including a dedicated pad, liquid methane tanks, and a Landing Zone. Pad 39E would have been due north of the midpoint between 39C and 39D, with 39E forming the top of a triangle, and equidistant from 39C and 39D. In an emergency, the launch complex used a slidewire escape basket system for quick evacuation. In 2018, SpaceX made further modifications to LC 39A to prepare it to accommodate the manned Dragon 2. 12:22 p.m. It was rolled back 6,900 feet (2,100 m) to a parking position shortly before launch. "The [solicitation] document merely asks bidders to explain their reasons for selecting one approach instead of the other and how they would manage the facility. "Launch Complex 39" redirects here. Now for the first time ever you get to experience this historic event through the eyes of those who lived through it. It was designed to handle launches of the Saturn V rocket, the largest, most powerful rocket then designed, which would propel Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. (When the Command Module was attached to the Service Module, it was called the CSM.). Endeavour was ready for a contingency mission in case of trouble with Atlantis. After the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, 39B was reconfigured similarly to 39A; but due to additional modifications (mainly to allow the facility to service a modified Centaur-G upper stage), along with budgetary restraints, it was not ready until 1986. two jettisoned, Apollo 11 enters a 103 nautical mile-high Earth orbit, during which the vehicle is carefully checked by the astronauts and by the ground control crew. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. , When the stack integration was completed, the Mobile Launcher was moved atop one of two crawler-transporters, or Missile Crawler Transporter Facilities, 3–4 miles (4.8–6.4 km) to its pad at a speed of 1 mile per hour (1.6 km/h). Next came a truly tricky dance move. The LC 39A fixed service structure was also repainted during this work. On July 16th 1969, Apollo 11 was launched carrying the crew of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. , After the ML was set in place, the crawler-transporter rolled a 410-foot (125 m), 10,490,000-pound (4,760 t) Mobile Service Structure (MSS) into place to provide further access for technicians to perform a detailed checkout of the vehicle, and to provide necessary umbilical connections to the pad. Launch Complex 39 consists of three launch sub-complexes or "pads"—39A, 39B, and 39C—a Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), a Crawlerway used by crawler-transporters to carry mobile launcher platforms between the VAB and the pads, Orbiter Processing Facility buildings, a Launch Control Center which contains the firing rooms, a news facility famous for the iconic countdown clock seen in television coverage and photos, and various logistical and operational support buildings. 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