Launch Pad 39A

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Launch Complex 39 Pad A

Center: Kennedy Space Center
Location: Cape Canaveral, Florida
Year Built: 1965
Historic Eligibility: National Register Listed
Important Tests:

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[top] History

Launch Complex 39 (LC-39): Pad A, constructed in 1965, was listed in the NRHP on January 21, 2000 as a contributing resource within the LC-39: Pad A Historic District in the context of the Apollo program. It has since gained importance in the context of the Space Shuttle program. In addition to its contributions to the NRHP-listed historic district, Launch Pad 39 A is considered individually eligible for National Register listing at the national level under Criteria A and C in the areas of Space Exploration and Engineering, respectively. Because it has achieved exceptional significance within the past 50 years, Criteria Consideration G applies.

Launch Pad 39 A was the site of the first Saturn V launch, the Apollo 4 mission, and served the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 which took Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins to the moon. In total, Launch Pad 39A was the platform for 11 Apollo missions and one Skylab mission, all using the Saturn V rocket. Beginning in 1976, and completed in 1978, the launch pad underwent major modifications to accommodate the Space Shuttle vehicle. The main elements of the rebuilt pad include the hardstand; the Flame Trench and Deflector system; the Fixed Service Structure (FSS, formerly part of the Apollo-era LUT); and the Rotating Service Structure (RSS), which includes the Payload Changeout Room (PCR). On April 14, 1981, Launch Pad 39 A was the site for the first launch of the Space Shuttle Program, followed by the next 23 launches. Many structural modifications have been made since 1986, including new weather protection structures and a fully computer-automated Payload Ground Handling Mechanism (PGHM). This pad is one of two sites at KSC specially designed and constructed to launch space vehicles. The boundary of the historic property extends from the outer perimeter of the concrete hardstand, approximately 3 m (10 ft), which includes all necessary structures and components historically required for its functions.

On May 31, 2008, during launch of Discovery (STS-124), approximately 3500 bricks broke loose from a 23¬m (75-ft) by 4.6-m (15-ft) section of the east wall of the north flame trench. An investigation board was formed to determine the cause and a method of repair. The SHPO was notified of this action in June 2008. Repairs were performed on August 29, 2008 and the SHPO concurred on January 30, 2009.

[top] Photos

[top] Virtual Tours

360 Degree Photo at the Pad for STS-132 (Orlando Sentinel)

[top] Film Clips

1967: General Coverage of Pre-Launch Activity

[top] Documents


LC39A HAER Appendix A

LC39A HAER Appendix B

LC39A HAER Appendix C

LC-39A Photo Index

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