Kuiper stands on a red gantry, looking somewhat concerned.

Swing Arm 8

Kuiper belatedly realizes that the gantry sign did not, in fact, say “THIS WAY TO LUNCH.” ?

Thank you @rocketcenterusa for allowing Kuiper to make a special visit to trot across Swing Arm 8. I have pictures of him in motion (with ears up and looking much less confused), but it was very dark and I chose non-optimal camera settings. Thus most of those are out of focus. Oops. ? The good news is that I’ve learned a lot in the past year! This picture was taken last September.

Although this swing arm was most likely used just for testing, the Apollo astronauts walked across one just like it on the way to board their spacecraft. The Apollo Launch Umbilical Tower had 9 of these arms. Number 1 was at the bottom, and number 9 (which the astronauts used) was at the top. This swing arm number 8 would have been connected to the service module. They’re called “swing arms” because they swing out of the way before (for some of them very shortly before) liftoff.

The swing arms were developed and built right here in Huntsville, Alabama. Each of them are 35-45 feet (11-14m) long, and they each weigh an average of 24 tons. Tomorrow, as we begin to cover the events of Apollo 11 in realtime, I’ll give you a sense of scale of the Saturn V rocket they were connected to.

Launch tomorrow is at 6:32 am Pacific / 9:32 am Eastern (that’s 14:32 for friends in the UK.)

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz9LgNSlJAZ/

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