The Space Shuttle Columbia continues its rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B in preparation for the STS-90 mission. The Neurolab experiments are the primary payload on this nearly 17-day space flight. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. Specifically, experiments will study the adaptation of the vestibular system, the central nervous system, and the pathways that control the ability to sense location in the absence of gravity, as well as the effect of microgravity on a developing nervous system.

So long, Launch Pad 39B

The deconstruction of Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is complete. Still remaining and standing over the remnants of the fixed service structure are the 600-foot-tall lightning protection towers and the water tower used for sound suppression.

In 2009, the structure at the pad was no longer needed for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, so it is being restructured for future use. The new design will feature a “clean pad” for rockets to come with their own launcher, making it more versatile for a number of vehicles.


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – An aerial view, from the east looking toward the west, shows the entire Launch Pad 39B area at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A new elevator has been constructed on the surface of the pad and the crawlerway leading up to the surface is being repaired. Repairs also are being made to the crawler track panels and catacomb roof below on either side of the flame trench. Also in view are the water tower and the three tall lightning towers that surround the pad. To the left, in the background is the Vehicle Assembly Building. In the foreground is the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. Upgrades are underway at Pad B and other facilities in the Launch Complex 39 area. The Ground Systems Development and Operations, or GSDO, Program office at Kennedy is leading the center’s transformation from a historically government-only launch complex to a spaceport that can safely handle a variety of rockets and spacecraft, including NASA’s Space Launch System. For more information about GSDO, visit: Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

From NASA:

Launch Complex 39's Pad A and Pad B were originally designed to support the Apollo program and were modified for Space Shuttle launch operations. Major changes included the erection of a new Fixed Service Structure (FSS), addition of a Rotating Service Structure (RSS), and the replacement of the Saturn flame deflectors with three new flame deflectors. The upper portion of the Saturn V Launch umbilical tower was removed from two of the Apollo Mobile Launchers and installed at the pad to serve as the FSS.

Via @not_gatsby (Robin Seemangal)

A Plataforma de lançamento 39B no Centro Espacial Kennedy servirá como base para o retorno da humanidade de Missões da exploração espacial tripulada. Os astronautas vão para a decolagem a partir da plataforma a bordo do Sistema de Lançamento Espacial e módulo da tripulação Orion para a jornada pelo sistema solar.
A primeira missão será colocar um asteróide em órbita lunar seguido pela longa viagem a Marte. (Foto por mim)

#nasa #journeytomars #kennedyspacecenter #mars #Regrann

@Regrann from @not_gatsby - Launch Pad 39b at Kennedy Space Center will serve as the base for humanity’s return to manned space exploration. Astronauts will liftoff from this pad aboard the The Space Launch System and Orion crew module to journey into the solar system. The first mission will be to an Asteroid in Lunar orbit followed by the long trip to Mars. (Photo by me)

#nasa #journeytomars #kennedyspacecenter #mars #Regrann