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More Then-Now Photos from KSC

Finally found some time yesterday to put together four more then-now comparisons using my grandparents’ old slides from early 1965 and some pictures I took last month while at KSC on business.

LC-14, Then and Now

This one shows the access road into LC-14, the Atlas site from which (among other things) John Glenn’s first orbital mission was launched.  The foliage has obscured the view of what remains, but if you go down the road to where it curves to the right, you can still see the blockhouse and the launch mount/tower foundation (dead center in the lower image). As I recall, the tower and gantry are preserved (albeit on the ground and in sections) at the rocket park near LC-17.

 

LC-34, Then and Now

This comparison of LC-34 is almost perfect, but for the strange discrepancy of perspective (the blockhouse looks much further away in the old slide).  What’s really disappointing here is that the small image doesn’t show all the interesting details I can see in the originals – specifically, the fact that the two road signs on the right of the access road are still there and identical, as near as I can tell, at least one of the flame diverters in the “parked” location is visible in both pictures, and in the old slide, one of the umbilical towers at nearby LC-37 is visible (the tiny dark line sticking up above the trees near the left side of the older image). I can’t really be sure, but some of the telephone poles in the new photo might even be original (hard to tell, since the crossmembers are somewhat different now).

LC-17, Then and Now

The two Delta-II pads at LC-17. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough similarity between then and now in the tower design to be certain that I was even close to having the same view – the old slide may even be from the coastal side of the towers, while the new image is taken from the inland side (the inland image was a better gut-feel match than the coastal images I took, though).  The angle here is completely different because I took the new image on a different day, when I didn’t have the old image to use as a guide.

Mercury Monument, Then and Now

This was a surprisingly difficult view to match – in part because (I realized after I’d gotten home) the printed copy I was using as a guide cut off the right side of the image at about the right-hand side of the blockhouse mound. Obviously, the receding lines aren’t going to match up when you’re actually a few feet to one side of where you should be. I also had trouble with the height – judging from the crossbar on the monument, I didn’t crouch down far enough to simulate a chest-height slide camera. The people next to the monument are strangers, but the guy on the left looks a lot like my father – I sure would like to know what happened the pictures he was apparently taking at the time.

There are three more old slides that I couldn’t match up, unfortunately. Two are similar views on rocket row, showing two identical service towers emerging above nearby foliage…I could never figure out for certain which towers they were (Titans, I believe, but it’s not clear which pads), and there’s not enough other detail in the slide to figure out where to go nowadays to replicate the shot. The third image was of the second crawler-transporter under construction (mostly done, with the treads missing)…I was able to find several shots of the area from different angles in NASA’s Moonport history document, but nothing showing for certain where the crawler and nearby buildings were relative to still-existing structures. I suspect they were in the area near OPF3 where the TPS shop and Ares MLP construction area are today.

UPDATE: Actually, the two identical towers might have been LC36A/B. The shape of the service structure certainly looks right.

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