B Pad Construction Photos - Space Shuttle - Page 10


Cannister Fit Check, Fire at FSS Pad Deck Level

Forum commentary here:


Cannister fit check. Fire.

Came down off of the FSS, and just as the elevator doors were opening, we heard a pop, and the doors opened to reveal that one of the electrical panels there on the pad deck at the foot of the tower had caught fire. So since I had a camera on me, I took some pictures of it.

Big excitement.

Shortly after the bottom right shot was taken, a security guy came up and demanded to see my camera permit.

Which I showed him.

And he seemed quite disappointed with that turn of events, and eventually departed to go scrutinize something else somewhere.

Ah well, such is life.

Also, in the bottom right photo, you can see that all the swing arms have been hung on the FSS. And the good old Centaur Porch is up there too, sticking out to the right up near the top of the Cannister.


Additional commentary below the image.

Top Left:

Big surprise, just as I was coming out of the elevator, after taking shots from up on the RSS. There's a chain-link fence in the area right around the door to the FSS elevator, and my first frame was a hurried thing, through that chain link.

There's a couple of high-pressure gas bottles standing right there, and they could easily have been somebody's torch kit, filled with some delightfully volatile acetylene and oxygen, but their gray color corresponds to carbon dioxide, which is harmless enough around flames.

Farther away, almost directly in line with the flames, looks to be the bottle on a fire-extinguisher cart. Fire extinguishers are all over the goddamned place, and that's a good thing, every once in a while.

And past that, the cannister transporter can be seen, and it's clearly tilted forward some. I'm guessing that's the way they fine-adjusted the location of the top of the cannister, where the guide shoes are, by tilting the transporter this way or that, but that's just a guess and I have no proof that's what they're doing here.

Top Right:

Out from behind the chain-link now, and the flames are rolling right along, but at least they're isolated from everything else around them. In the background, this little tableaux has everybody's full attention.

Bottom Left:

Well ok, that takes care of that. Somebody knocked it down with the extinguisher, and this is what's left. I have no idea whatsoever as to what circuit this might have been, why it popped, or if it had any significant knock-on effects anywhere else. That's electrician work. We're not electricians. Case closed.

Bottom Right:

You can see a couple of guards, one with a hat on, and one without (no hard hats, of course, after all they're guards and guards don't have to follow the rules), in line with the firetruck behind them, but I do not recall if either one of them (there were others, out of frame) was the one that confronted me about the camera. My brain is telling me it's the one on the right, with the hat on, but I'm not quite willing to trust my brain right this minute.

To the left of the guy with the white hard hat on, far left bottom of the frame, you can see another guy with an acetylene bottle over his shoulder, walking away from a torch kit, right behind him. Good thing that torch kit never got involved with the fire, eh?

Above and behind the cannister, the RSS (and just a little bit of the FSS) can be seen in all of its psychotically-complex glory. By this time, they had added an awful lot of extra stuff on to the RSS, above and beyond its original design, and things are hard to recognize, but I'll list a bunch of stuff (but by no stretch of the imagination, everything) in clear view, in whole or in part, original-design and later change-order installations, stuff we've already talked about and stuff I've never mentioned, all without bothering to further identify them above and beyond the fact that they're in plain sight, so here we go more or less from lower to higher, but there's exceptions, ok?:

Aft Reaction Control System platforms.
ARCS room.
Removable ARCS "stinger" covers.
Auxillary Power Unit service platforms.
OMS Pod heated purge covers.
Left orbiter side seal panel.
Payload Changeout Room door (dimly, in deep shadow, to the left of the left orbiter side seal panel).
PCR Hypergol spill ducts.
MLP Deck access stairs ("stairs of doom, to nowhere")
North piping bridge.
SSW MLP supply header.
Centaur porch.
Hinge column.
Hinge column struts.
Hinge column crossover platforms.
Payload Bay Kit & Contingency Platforms.
RSS main structural framing, column lines B, C, & D.
Orbiter Weather Protection system.
PCR emergency egress stair tower.
PCR elevator enclosure.
Orbiter Access Arm and white room.
External Tank access platforms.
ET access platforms guide columns.
FSS Operational TeleVision camera platforms.
Gox arm (underside only).
Gox arm hinge access platforms.
Gox arm latchback access platforms.
Gox arm gaseous oxygen vent ducts.

And remember, each and every one of these things, and a blue million of other things, can itself be deeply contrapted, complex, and confusing to understand.

Big launch pad fun!

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