04:00 PM - 05:15 PM
7 October 2024

NHCEL-Vehicle Assembly Building-NASA Kennedy Space Center

History & Heritage

On January 20, 2020, the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, FL was dedicated as a National Historic Civil Engineerng Landmark. Robert Cabana, KSC Director and Kevin Thibault, FDOT Secretary at the time were a part of the Dedication ceremony as well as many officers and members of the Florida Section and Region 5. The application process took over two years and NASA's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) staff were instrumental in providing the agency's support for the application and planning of the dedication ceremony. This was the first NHCEL dedicated in the state of Florida since the Bicennential. With regard to the unique engineering characteristics, in 1963, NASA contracted the Morrison-Knudsen company to design and build the VAB. Construction began with driving the first steel foundation piles on Aug. 2, 1963. The building was completed in 1966. The VAB is 526 feet (160.3 m) tall, 716 feet (218.2 m) long and 518 feet (157.9 m) wide. It covers 8 acres (3 ha), and encloses 129,428,000 cubic feet (3,665,000 m3) of space. The building cost approximately $100 million to complete. It was part of NASA's massive effort to send astronauts to the moon for the Apollo Program. The building was designed to accommodate a fully assembled Saturn V and housed the Saturn launch vehicles between 1966 and 1975 and in 1980, the Space Shuttle. Presentation will include discussion of construction and the building's adaptation to changing needs of the Space program.