Open in the curiosity app
Engineering

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building Has Its Own Weather

When NASA began the Apollo program in the 1960s, one of the first steps was to build a factory big enough to assemble the enormous rockets they planned to send to space. Construction of the Vehicle Assembly Building broke ground in 1963, and when it was finished in 1965, the structure was one of the largest in the world with 129,428,000 cubic feet (3,665,000 cubic meters) of interior volume -- nearly four times that of the Empire State Building. The VAB is so massive that it even has its own weather. During Florida's most humid days, clouds will actually form near the ceiling. Of course, this isn't ideal for the delicate machinery being assembled, so the building is equipped with 10,000 tons of air conditioning equipment to keep the moisture at bay. Today, the VAB is being renovated to accommodate the launch vehicles of the future.

Advertisement
Advertisement
A ground level view at Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), showing the Apollo 14 (Spacecraft 110/Lunar Module 8/Saturn 509) space vehicle leaving the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The Saturn V stack and its mobile launch tower, atop a huge crawler-transporter, were rolled out to Pad A. The Apollo 14 crewmen will be astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., commander; Stuart A. Roosa, command module pilot; and Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot.
Crawler-transporters carrying space shuttle at the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Explore Related Subjects
Engineering
NASA
Outer Space
Paranormal