NASA is normally concerned with blasting rockets to space, but on Saturday it focused on blasting a former administrative headquarters to smithereens.
The space agency demolished Building 4200 at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, about 130 miles northwest of Atlanta.
The YouTube channel for the Marshall Space Flight Center livestreamed the demolition in which multiple controlled explosions razed the structure in a matter of seconds.
Building 4200 acted as the Marshall Space Flight Center’s administrative headquarters from 1963 until 2020.
Clearing the old building out of the way creates space for a series of new, state-of-the-art facilities from where NASA will plan missions well into the future.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center was founded in 1960 and covers around 4,450 hectares. The site has a workforce of around 6,000 people and is one of the agency’s largest field centers.
“NASA and its government and commercial partners have solved spaceflight’s most complex, technical problems here for nearly six decades, dating back to the groundbreaking Apollo moon missions of the 1960s and ’70s,” the agency says of Marshall on its website.
“Marshall’s expertise and capabilities are crucial to the development, power, and operation of the engines, vehicles, and space systems America uses to conduct unprecedented missions of science and exploration throughout our solar system, enabling or enriching nearly every facet of the nation’s ongoing mission of discovery.”
Marshall engineers, scientists, and researchers work on a wide range of projects, creating and refining technologies in the areas of space transportation and propulsion, space habitats, and planetary landers, as well as working on important developments in complex space systems and scientific research.
Propulsion technology is a particular focus of teams at Marshall, with personnel exhibiting strong expertise in traditional solid and liquid propulsion systems, along with advanced propulsion technology such as solar sails and nuclear propulsion. The ongoing work paves the way for the design of different kinds of spacecraft able to handle a range of missions.
“From the earliest test flights of Mercury and Redstone rockets, through the Saturn V missions and Space Shuttle Program, to the country’s next-generation flagship space vehicle — the Space Launch System — and the new Artemis Program to return human explorers to the moon and send them on to Mars and beyond, Marshall has provided the development of every major propulsion system in NASA’s history,” the agency said.
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