Looking for something that goes beyond the Orlando theme parks?
NASA has opened its Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center to the public for the first time since 1978, according to WESH.com.
Vistors are now able to walk through the facility that’s tall enough — 525 feet — to generate its own weather. It’s now open because NASA is no longer using its huge cranes to lift shuttles for launch. The Saturn Moon moon rocket was assembled there and the Endeavour, which has been retired, awaits preparation for its new home at the Science Center in Los Angeles.
According to Space.com:
The huge building — the largest single-story structure and the fourth largest by volume in the world — was used for 30 years to stack shuttle orbiters with their boosters and fuel tanks for 135 missions. Before then, the VAB’s original use was to assemble the stages that formed the 363-foot (110-meter) Saturn V rockets that launched Apollo astronauts to the moon.
Access was understandably restricted. After all, highly flammable shuttle solid rocket booster segments were stacked inside the facility. Hazardous operations were the norm, reports FloridaToday.com.
The tours cost $25 for $19 for children ages 3 to 11. They’re offered eight times a day and last for two hours. Reservations are suggested. However, they’re for a limited time only: Work may resume in the Vehicle Assembly Building next year.