Many, many years ago, my friend was able to go inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. I was very jealous. If you’ve never seen this building in person, I’ll try to describe its gigantic proportions.
When you’re driving the 10-mile stretch to KSC, you start to see the VAB; it’s actually the first thing you see. Its head pops up over the horizon, it’s that big. I’ve been on bus tours before that drove by the VAB, but I’ve never been beside it, much less inside. But my dream finally came true, and I finally lost that green envy I’d been toting around for at least two decades now! During the #NASASocial for #SpaceX4, we socialites were given an inside look at the VAB, or as I like to call it, the “VLB,” meaning Very Large Building. XL! When we went inside, I felt my jaw drop to the ground: the VAB’s awesomeness is just indescribable.
Look at the cars in front of this VLB, I wonder how many of these you could fit in that building? Quite a lot. The stripes on the United States flag are large enough for buses to drive across them. The NASA meatball (the logo) took over 600 gallons of paint.
More Interesting Facts
- The VAB processed 13 Saturn V rockets for the Apollo space missions and then all of the Space Shuttle missions.
- The VAB high bay doors are the largest in the world (456 feet tall) and take approximately 45 minutes to fully open or close.
- The American flag took about 6,000 gallons of paint and is 209 feet high by 110 feet wide. The flag’s blue field is the size of an NBA regulation-size basketball court!
- The flag’s stars are six (6) feet across; each stripe is 9 feet wide.
- The logo on the VAB takes up 12,300 square feet.
- The VAB covers eight acres!
So now for the really good stuff: the photographs!
NOTE: These photos do not show the absolute top of the building, you only see the top of this particular bay. Because workers were on the other side with that huge machine (which looks small in the photo, go figure!), we were not able to venture to that area. But I doubt you could see the real top even over there. Maybe one day I’ll get to see that side.
It truly was an honor to be inside the VAB and I hope to return one day in another #NASASocial. Who knows, maybe the #Orion launch in December. Toes crossed (can’t type with crossed fingers)!
P.S. Notice the last photograph; this was once a shuttle bay.