The tour route takes you through the Transfer Aisle, where components are trucked in and then lifted by any of the five overhead cranes with lifting capacities from 50 to 325 tons. You can walk through the only building to have assembled rockets that flew humans to the surface of another world. The renovation process will remove 150 miles of lead and copper wire that will be replaced with fiber optic systems. Here are more renovation details
The building has been available for tours until the modifications for the Space Launch System are begun. The new rockets will be larger than the old Saturn V's, so the extensive modifications are required to the high bays. Since the new systems will weigh 25 million pounds versus 18 million pounds of the Saturn V, new floors and foundations are required.
A large and small capacity crane are part of the tour as you walk through the Transfer Aisle of the largest building in the world by volume. At the end of the tour, you definitely will feel it in your neck from looking way up to the roof from inside.
Here is a look up into a high bay. You can see the one of the overhead cranes that can move a suspended part distances from 500 feet to just thousandths of an inch during the rocket mating process.
Good luck banners adorn the Transfer Aisle, signed by all the members of the mission assembly crew to recognize their efforts in the program and exhort each other.
This is the business end of the largest capacity crane which is controlled from cab near the ceiling.
Here is the head of the smaller crane, which is small only relative to the larger crane. Some of this infrastructure supporting the cranes will also be updated for the new challenges.
These tours were available many years ago but stopped in 1978. They started back up when the shuttle program ended last year. So, if you are going to be in Florida before they close, take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience a huge part of our space programs history. Our thanks to Andrea at the Kennedy Space Center for giving us the opportunity to take these photos.