A Floridian Sunset

Slightly left of center, the Sun sets behind some vegetation. The sky is a dusty pale blue with a few clouds in it. Trees and plants arc around a body of water, and the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) stands at the right edge of the image. The VAB is a very tall, white and gray linear building with a United States flag and NASA meatball logo painted on the front.
NASA/Ben Smegelsky

A NASA photographer captured the sunset on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, near the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The iconic building, completed in 1966 and currently used for assembly of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket for Artemis missions, is still the only building in which rockets were assembled that carried humans to the surface of another world.

The VAB stands 525 feet tall and contains 130 million cubic feet of interior space. It sports a large American flag – a 209-foot-tall, 110-foot-wide stars and stripes painted on the exterior of its south side. Each star measures six feet across, and the blue field is the size of a basketball court. The flag originally was painted onto the VAB in 1976 for the Bicentennial Exposition on Space and Technology. A 12,300-square-foot NASA logo also adorns the south side of the facility.

The VAB has received a number of distinctions. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 21, 2000. In January 2020, the American Society of Civil Engineers designated the VAB as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The Florida Association of The American Institute of Architects honored the facility and its adjacent Launch Control Center with a “Test of Time” design award, recognizing the contributions of the architects and engineers of these unique buildings.

Learn more about this distinctive building.

Image Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

First published at NASA.gov

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