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NASA now demolishing the obsolete mobile launch platform used during Apollo

The second of three mobile launch platforms that were used during the Apollo program to transport the Saturn-5 rocket to its launchpad but are all obsolete and no longer in use is finally being demolished for salvage.

The first has already been scrapped, while the third is still in use for “servicing the crawlerway between SLS launches.”

NASA has been storing the platform in the Vehicle Assembly Building, but there was no longer room there, with Boeing taking over more space for assembling SLS core stages. The platform itself was deemed unsafe for display at any museum, with the cost of making it safe too high.

Better to salvage it than have it sit in the way of future space operations. After all, when you get down to it, it is simply some metal and hardware. The history was accomplished by the humans who built it, and who would be appalled if later generations used their work as a club to prevent new achievements in space.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • pawn


    The ghost of Charlie Bell is moaning.

    Charlie bought the LC39 Apollo tower when the Apollo program was shut down for scrap. Charlie was “notorious “for buying stuff from NASA for his space museum business and his own peculiar interests.

    NASA had to pay him a lot of money to buy it back when Apollo/Soyuz was approved.

    I’m sure some of the readers here know a couple of other stories about Mr. Bell.

    NASA was so peeved about this that when they eventually took down the tower they didn’t scrap it and set it in sections in a field out behind the old HQ building. After decades of sitting there, NASA had to remediate the soil because of lead contamination from the paint when they eventually disposed of it after Charlie passed on.

    You can see the top of the tower and the crane at the Saturn Exhibition building.

  • TL

    You can’t save everything, eventually you have to clean out the basement. That said, there is probably some money to be made cutting out some interesting pieces into keychain sized bits and selling them off as collectables.

  • GeorgeC

    pawn: Sounds like a man worth doing a biography and movie script about.

    Btw, I have seen equipment still in military manufacturing inventory, tooling, from pre 1933. At a site that made cannon for George Washington and which is still making cannon for tanks, although based on a German WWII design.

  • Jeff Wright

    Nothing is sacred to New Spacers.

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