Who Has the World's Largest Doors?
April 17, 2018
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government that has been setting high-altitude records since its inception in 1958. So, any search for the highest, tallest or biggest door would naturally lead to the John F. Kennedy Space Center. After all, the facility houses one of the most watched timepieces in the world. Known as the "Countdown Clock", this famous landmark stands 26 feet in length and nearly 6 feet high. In 2000, NASA's launch-site clock was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Another striking view for visitors at the spaceport, which is located about halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, is the Launch Complex 39. The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is the largest single story building in the world at 526 feet and the tallest building in the United States outside an urban area. Originally known as the vertical assembly building, the VAB was constructed to allow for the vertical assembly of the Saturn V rocket used by the Apollo space program. A well-planned building design included four (4) extremely tall doors to allow the Crawler-Transporter to move a fully assembled rocket to the Mobile Launcher Platform.
There are four entries to the bays located inside the VAB building that are considered to be the four largest doors in the world. Each door is 456 feet high, has seven vertical panels and four horizontal panels, and takes 45 minutes to completely open or close. After the Space Shuttle program was retired seven years ago, NASA temporarily allowed public tours of the facility. These were discontinued three years later when renovation began on the VAB. The goal is to provide a commercial spaceport that will be accessible to both government and private space ventures. Currently, there is no info available on who had to paint the four doors or how long it took.
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