The Big Ass Building

At work this week I am working on a special project. Actually it is a mundane piece of crap project that I don’t really want to get into here, but I am working in a different area about five miles down the road from where I am normally. I am working in the VAB, or Vehicle Assembly Building. We sometimes call it the BAB, or Big Ass Building, because that is what is is. The building covers over seven acres of land and when it was completed in 1966, it was the largest such structure in the world. It is 525 feet tall with something like 52 stories. In the early days the elevators in the VAB were the fastest in the world, and now, even though they have been slowed down, they are still fast enough to make your heart leap up into your throat when going down, or your ears pop when going up. There are a couple of glass sided elevators and those are cool because you can see exactly how fast you are going. For many years it has been impossible to visit floors above 19 without a special key for thhe elevator, but where we (me and a couple of co-workers) are working is above that so we went up to the 34th floor (the highest we had access to) and when we got ready to ride the elevator down, we pushed the button and everyone jumped at the same time. You can be weightless for a few seconds, so it is kind of fun.

On the 34th floor, when you look down, you can just barely see the tops of one set of solid rocket boosters. I am fine looking down, but if I try to look up from there it makes me a bit dizzy. I will have to take my camera tomorrow and take some pictures so that you can see what I am writing about.

  1. #1 by Rob on March 14, 2006 - 8:30 pm

    I visited there the first time back in 89-90 (I forget exactly when) but at that time the “tour” took you to see the Saturn V which was still laid outside the parking lot near the VAB. I recall how impressively immense it was.

    Then they went and “Disney-ized” the place. 😦

  2. #2 by Brian Lavery on March 15, 2006 - 2:29 am

    Your job is so amazing! I can’t wait to see more pictures.
    Thanks for the great postings!

  3. #3 by Chris on March 15, 2006 - 10:40 am

    Roller Coaster rides @ work ….
    thats kewl!

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