Engineers have begun to install the new Flame Deflector into the Flame Trench of Pad 39B. Following the demolition of the legacy deflector that catered for the Space Shuttle, a large Ignition Over-Pressure/Sound Suppression (IOP/SS) manifold pipe has now been installed ahead of surrounding it with the new universal deflector for the Space Launch System (SLS).
Pad 39B Transition:
While work continues on removing Shuttle legacy structures from Pad 39A – including the final elements of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) as SpaceX modify the pad for their own rockets – 39B hasn’t looked like a former Shuttle pad for several years.
Controlled demolition of 39B’s Shuttle structures began in September, 2010 – with deconstruction work commencing on the RSS, a process that is currently being copied at 39A.
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However, unlike the SpaceX pad, 39B also removed the Fixed Service Structure (FSS), which SpaceX will instead keep in place and modify ahead of crewed Falcon 9 launches with the Dragon 2 spacecraft.
Pad 39A’s future is to be a “clean pad”, which allows for multiple users to roll up to the pad on a Mobile Launcher (ML) and utilize its ...