A large crane dismantles another level of the fixed service structure (FSS) on Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Work to remove the rotating service structure (RSS) also continues at the pad. The FSS and RSS were designed to support the unique needs of the Space Shuttle Program. In 2009, the pad was no longer needed for the shuttle program, so it is being restructured for future use.
Its new design will feature a "clean pad" for rockets to come with their own launcher, making it more versatile for a number of vehicles. The transformation also includes the refurbishment of the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks and the upgrade of about 1.3 million feet of cable. The new lightning protection system, which was in place for the October 2009 launch of Ares I-X, will remain. For information on NASA's future plans, visit www.nasa.gov. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett