Vehicle Assembly Building (the always impressive)

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (6)

Ryan Calhoun on March 8, 2008

The Vehicle Assembly Building was originally designed to assemble all the stages of the Saturn V rocket. It is 52 stories tall. It covers 8 acres and encloses almost 130 million cubit feet. Each of the four large assembly bays has an exterior door (2 visible on the side) 40 feet wide and 456 feet high. Below the foundation, 16-inch thick steel pipes were driven 160 feet deep into bedrock. The exterior siding has been damaged several times in the past by hurricane winds. The most recent damage is being repaired along the upper-center of the front side. A close examination will reveal a person-sized door, near the end of the long catwalk.

Jessica G. on March 9, 2008

That's huge!! Even the birds flying in front are little black dots against it. Do they still assemble rockets there?

Ryan Calhoun on March 9, 2008

Yeah, it's big. You can see the "next nearby photo", incorrectly mapped right on top of the building, shows how far away I was standing. There are two huge parking lots between it and me, and still the building is almost as big as both of those parking lots together.

They converted the building to assemble the space shuttles. I think a couple of the bay doors had to have a slot added to let the tail pass through when the orbiter is attached to the external fuel tank. But there are only a couple of shuttle missions left, and then they will start a new rocket program, and still use this building to assemble the stages. Every vehicle since the Apollo missions has been designed with the maximum height of this building and its doors in mind.

Thanks for your comments Jessica!

Tony Reid on June 5, 2008



Ryan Calhoun on June 5, 2008

Thanks Tony, I agree!

GasGasL€X on March 2, 2011

I wouldnt mind heading back just to see it again. Great Pic

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 8, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ryan Calhoun
    • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
    • Taken on 2008/01/02 12:13:40
    • Exposure: 0.001s (1/800)
    • Focal Length: 30.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/22.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO400
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash