Press Release

NASA Vehicle Assembly Building’s Huge American Flag Flies Again

By SpaceRef Editor
May 13, 2005
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Workers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center have restored to glory the 209-foot-tall American flag painted on the side of the historic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) through panel repairs and painting after it was damaged by hurricanes last year.

This marks a major step in completing permanent hurricane repairs on the 52-story VAB, the Center’s most recognizable landmark, set to be restored to its original appearance by mid-July.

Since hurricanes punched out about 30,000 square feet of panels on the south side of the VAB last year, employees of Sauer Inc. in Oak Hill, Fla., used scaffolds hung from the roof to replace temporary panels put up after the hurricanes with permanent ones made of corrugated steel. Flag repairs and painting were completed in early May.

“We will continue to work on the VAB,” said Michael Sumner, NASA deputy director of Center Operations and manager of KSC’s hurricane recovery efforts. “The new panels are permanent repairs and the whole building will be repainted when all the work is complete.”

An ongoing project through Fiscal Year 2008 involves performing non-hurricane related maintenance on the VAB, which is one of the largest buildings in the world by volume.

The high bay doors 1 and 3 (on the east side) and the roof are being repaired with money already allocated before the hurricane damage. Another 10,000 square feet of high-bay and low-bay roof are also being repaired, as well as 10 roof vents that measure approximately 20 by 20 feet.

Winds, rain and lightning present the most significant challenge to working on the side of the massive VAB. Once winds reach more than 30 knots on the VAB roof and more than 20 knots on its side, no work can be performed. The repair work also must be halted when certain processing operations take place inside the VAB.

The building’s U.S. flag is 209 feet long by 110 feet wide. Each star is more than six feet in diameter and each stripe is nine feet wide.

Photos of the VAB repairs can be found at the following link:

SpaceRef staff editor.