Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Prime real estate renamed in honor of Armstrong

A famed facility at the Kennedy Space Center where Apollo spacecraft were readied for the moon and NASA's next-generation Orion capsules are being built to go into deep space is being renamed for the first moonwalker, the late Neil Armstrong.

With fellow Apollo 11 crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on hand, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden will rechristen the Operations & Checkout Building in a ceremony on Monday, July 21, the agency announced Monday.

The 9 a.m. EDT event will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed by Spaceflight Now.

The new name: the Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building, according to a photo published by the website collectspace.com.

The renaming comes on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11's mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on July 16 and landed on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

Built in 1964, the facility has touched nearly every manned U.S. space project. The high bay was used to integrated GEmini spacecraft, then during the Apollo program to process and test the command, service and lunar modules. It was used in the the 1970s for Apollo-Soyuz and Skylab, then was home to the European Spacelab in the 1980s and 1990s. It even hosted some of the International Space Station segments.

Now back at its roots as a spacecraft assembly facility, Lockheed Martin uses to building to ready the first Orion capsule for its orbital test flight scheduled for this December.

It previously was known as the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building.

What's more, the upper floor is where astronaut crews lived while at Kennedy Space Center preparing for launch. The world-famous doorway is where departing crews waved to the media and workers to board the Astrovan on the ride to the launch pad.

Armstrong passed away in 2012. His memory was honored by the renaming of the Dryden Flight Research Center -- to the Armstrong Flight Research Center -- at Edwards Air Force Base in California in March.

Source: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1407/07ocbuilding/#.U7x6SvldVOa