Launch Complex 39B has been renovated in the “clean” pad design, leaving very little to the eye. The one obvious exception to this is the three 600 foot-tall lightning towers that rise majestically into the Florida sky. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / awaltersphoto.com

ESC Empowers Part 2: It’s Electric—Lightning Protection at Launch Complex 39B

By Jason Rhian

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – In this second installment of our series detailing the efforts of the men and women of the Engineering Services Contract, or ESC, we will detail the efforts conducted to renovate and safeguard the historic Launch Complex-39B (LC-39B) for future use. Most importantly, what protects the launch complex’s expensive charges in the lightning capital of the world?

Around the perimeter of LC-39B, numerous pods and weather gauges monitor and measure lightning strikes in the area. For protection purposes, three new 600 foot-tall lightning towers have been erected.

It was with this part of our tour that we began to gain a grasp on the diverse elements of the ESC contract. The realms of scientific research and engineering merged as we learned about efforts to refurbish the pad, which saw its first use in 1967, for 21st century purposes.

Read more: ESC Empowers Part 2: It’s Electric—Lightning Protection at Launch Complex 39B « AmericaSpace.

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