NASA jettisons miles of Apollo-era copper cable

NASA jettisons miles of Apollo-era copper cabling from historic VAB
NASA jettisons miles of Apollo-era copper cabling from historic VAB

Contractors pull Apollo-era cabling from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Miles of copper cabling was pulled from the building to prepare the structure for use on the Space Launch System (SLS).

As reported by Spaceflight Insider on May 26, NASA is currently refurbishing the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), upgrading the structure to meet the advanced technology requirements of a new era of space exploration.

Spaceflight Insider's Jason Rhian writes: "With their new super heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) booster set to take to the skies as soon as 2018, engineers are busy refurbishing the VAB for use with this new huge booster. Perhaps one of NASA’s more iconic structures, the VAB has been around since the late 1960s – as have the systems that were used in the building to stack launch vehicles and spacecraft since the Apollo Program.

With the Space Agency transitioning from the Space Shuttle Program and toward the SLS, NASA is taking this opportunity to modernize the VAB.

'This is the first time that myself and others here at KSC have transitioned from one program to another,' said VAB Site Project Manager Edsel Sanchez. 'When we reviewed the systems that were in the VAB, we realized many would have to be completely replaced.'

This turned out to be an understatement, with miles of copper wiring needing to be removed and new fiber-optic cables installed. NASA, like many government agencies, used these resources to its advantage.

'We allowed the contractors to keep the copper that they pulled out of the building. This helped to lower the overall cost of the upgrades,' Sanchez said.

Panels and platforms, some of which have been in place since the Apollo Program, others having only been around since the Space Shuttle Program (late 1970s), were removed or retrofitted to support the SLS.

These are just a few of the many changes that the historic structure is currently undergoing."

Read the full story at Spaceflight Insider.

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