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Me at LC14 where the Atlas was launched. To the right of my head is the iconic Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building.
Yesterday I went out to Cape Canaveral Air Force Base to see the sites and get some information for my TV project, Detonation, which is about the Atlas rocket, America’s first nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile. This is me on top of the launch pad where the first Atlas was launched, and where four of the Mercury 7 astronauts were launched. The dome structure in the background is the blockhouse where all the launch controls were located. Even further in the background you can see the launch structure where the next Delta launch is scheduled to happen in november (they had the booster engines up!), and to the right of my head is Kennedy Space Center’s VAB, where they’ve built everything from the Saturn V to the Space Shuttles and current Atlas V rockets. Not only did I get to look at technical manuals and launch procedures that 50 years ago were top secret documents, I got a personal tour of the sites and what’s currently out at CCAFB (for security reasons, you have to get clearance to be allowed on by yourself, but you can get on as part of a tour group from Kennedy Space Center).
This just goes to show the kind of stuff you can get access to if you’re really dedicated to your historical research- you can get your hands on primary documents from museums and archives if you ask. I had a fantastic time and learned a ton. If I’m super incredibly lucky and word really hard, maybe some day in the future I’ll be back out filming here as the executive producer of Detonation!