This is not about kayaking but about the aftermath of the Space Shuttle program ending.....
The end of the Shuttle Program and the subsequent massive layoffs emptied Kennedy Space Center turning much of the center into a ghost town. (KSC is slowly, slowly building back the work-force & skill sets for the SLS EM1 launch)
EVA suit abandoned in an old warehouse
The ending of the Space Shuttle program was traumatic, & depressing. People had put their life's work supporting the space Program.
Current home of the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.
Indian River in the background
photo credit NASA
Nearly 8000 people lost their jobs when the shuttle program was canceled. Tell you true--it was sad.
However the amazing space shuttles never lived up to their projected turn around time or cost savings. And two tragic disasters really slowed the program.
Space is a harsh mistress.
Empty Space Shuttle Data Center
Amazing journey back in time (for me anyway) a link to the Kennedy Space Center Space port news: 1996-2014.
I can sit an gawk for hours at the names and photos of people I have known at the center over the years. Incredible time travel.
And take pride in participating in the space shuttle program.
Space Center workers watch as the Last shuttle is flown away to a museum and the end of their jobs.....
Pictures fallen from the walls onto the floor at one of the abandoned shuttle support facilities.
Shuttles were gone and the space center workers soon departed....There was hope the Ares rocket program would keep some on KSC employed, however the incoming administration shut the Ares program down after one launch.
The shuttle workers departed KSC.
Many of them had been doing amazing space processing work in antiquated Apollo era buildings that were not cost efficient to keep up.
When the workers departed, NASA turned off the electricity to many of the buildings and Florida humidity and insects moved in.
And at least two hurricanes have pummeled the space center since the mass departure of space related talent.
8000 highly trained space shuttle workers gone. (Photo of room at pad 39B)
A few ghosts perhaps haunt the halls......
Space Shuttle vent cap sitting in a field for salvage
Photo credit: Mine from the lightning tower
A few jobs were temporarily saved as highly trained space workers were put to work dismantling the Space Shuttle Fixed Service Structure and the Rotating Service Structure at launch pad 39B. (SpaceX has recently dismantled the Rotating Service Structure at launch pad 39A)
Haunted places of KSC
However for the most part, 8000 workers were cast adrift in Brevard County. Reminiscent of the Apollo Moon Program sudden shut down and emptying of Kennedy Space Center until the Space Shuttle Program began to ramp up in the late 70's
"When you are finished, pick up your check and leave"
Photo credit: NASA
The Apollo era buildings were ridden with asbestos, fire code violations and inefficient support systems.
Cheaper to let the buildings go fallow, and demolish when funds were available from the Federal Government.
Manuals and books in the garbage cans
Meanwhile the work horses of the Space Program were prepared for new safer lives in museums.
She no longer soars and roars, but Atlantis still wows crowds at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center.
The shuttles are now chained to the earth- dreaming of past days of riding the concussive fireball to the heavens and gliding back to earth.
While the old buildings rotted away until demolition.
The OMS pods building for the shuttlephiles
Space Lab poster in the ordnance lab before the building was demolished.
A sad marker discovered at one of the areas gone wild after the shuttle/Apollo era buildings were dismantled and nature reclaimed the area
For example: the Apollo era Central Instrumentation Facility: Outdated & beyond fire codes
Central Instrumentation Facility being demolished.
Now a grassy knoll
Current inhabitant of much of the space center
Since the departure of the space shuttles, Kennedy Space Center has been "ramping up" to become a multi-user space port.
Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origins and Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser are just a few companies with bold plans.
And NASA has been actively building the SLS rocket and support systems. In a couple of years, KSC will once again be a very busy place...…..
NASA art conception of the ML tower and the Space Launch System SLS rocket.
Most powerful rocket ever developed!
28th floor of the VAB and a photo of the astronaut access arm on the 340' ML tower.
Photo credit: Mine
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