360-degree Tour of Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center
27 July 2012 & 3 August 2012
Page Three of Three
Look carefully to see the wires drooping down from the pad to the structures with nets standing at right. This is the Emergency Exit System or slide wire providing "....an escape route for personnel aboard the Shuttle and on the Orbiter access arm of the fixed service structure until ignition of the Solid Rocket Boosters."
Baskets capable of holding two persons slide "....down a 366-meter (1,200-foot) wire to the landing zone area west of the pad. The deceleration system is composed of a catch-net system and drag chains. The descent takes approximately 35 seconds. After the basket has been stopped....those onboard may run or walk to the bunker area a short distance to the west." An armored personnel carrier parked nearby also could be used to escape the pad area once the baskets reached the ground.
The Rotating Service Structure rotates with the help of "....two eight-wheel motor driven trucks that move along circular twin rails installed flush with the pad surface." Note the yellow box at the bottom right hand leg of the Rotating Service Structure.
The yellow box is the cab for the Rotating Service Structure driver.
During Shuttle launches, an armored personnel carrier with rescue personnel aboard would be stationed here one mile from the launch pad to move in and render assistance at a moment's notice if needed.
A flame deflector from Pad 39B shows the scarring from the 6,000 degree heat generated by the Solid Rocket Boosters. The deflector is composed of steel and concrete.
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