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Operations and Checkout Building

Operations and Checkout Building
Operations and Checkout Building is located in Florida
Location Brevard County, Florida, USA
Nearest city Titusville, Florida
Built 1964
Architect Charles Luckman
Architectural style International
Visitation not open to the public (n/a)
Governing body NASA
MPS John F. Kennedy Space Center MPS
NRHP Reference # 99001636[1]
Added to NRHP January 21, 2000

The Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building (previously known as the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building) is a historic site on Merritt Island, Florida, United States. The five-story structure is in the Industrial Area of NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Its facilities include the crew quarters for astronauts prior to their flights. On January 21, 2000, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


  • Apollo program 1
    • Altitude test chambers 1.1
  • Post-Apollo use 2
  • Gallery 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Apollo program

When it was originally built in 1964 to process spacecraft in the Gemini and Apollo era, it was known as the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building. It was renamed the Operations and Checkout Building during the Apollo program, known informally as the O&C.

Altitude test chambers

The Apollo 1 crew, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, enter their spacecraft for a test in the O&C altitude chamber on October 18, 1966.

In 1965, a pair of altitude chambers were installed in the High Bay for testing the environmental and life support systems of both the Apollo Command/Service Module and Lunar Module at simulated altitudes of up to 250,000 feet (76 km). Each chamber is 58 feet (18 m) high (with a clear working height of 28 feet (8.5 m)) and an interior diameter of 33 feet (10 m),[2] were man-rated, and capable of reaching the maximum altitude (minimum pressure) in one hour. These were used by the prime and backup crews of all manned missions, from the ill-fated Apollo 1 in October 1966, through to the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in July 1975.[3]

Post-Apollo use

During the 1980s and 90s the O&C building was used to house and test Spacelab science modules before their flights aboard the Space Shuttle.

In the 2000s, trusses for the International Space Station were checked out in the building.

On January 30, 2007, NASA held a ceremony to mark the transition of the building's high bay for use by the Constellation program. The building would serve as the final assembly facility for the Orion crew exploration vehicle.[4] In preparation for the transition, the state of Florida provided funds to clear the facility of about 50 short tons (45 metric tons) of steel stands, structures and equipment.[5]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ Craig
  3. ^ Slovinac, pp. 1-2
  4. ^ Young
  5. ^ Marconi, p. 2


  • Craig, Kay (2011-06-14). "KSC Technical Capabilities: O&C Altitude Chambers". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  • Marconi, Elaine (2007-02-09). "NASA's next step to prepare for a new era of exploration" (PDF). Spaceport News (NASA) 46 (3). Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  • Slovinac, Patricia (December 2009). "Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Launch Complex 39, Altitude Chambers" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  • Young, Tracy (2007-01-24). "NASA Invites Media to Ceremony Marking Transition to Constellation". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 

External links

  • Operations and Checkout Building at
  • Brevard County listings at the National Register of Historic Places
  • KSC building reborn as 'Spacecraft Factory of the Future' Florida Today
  • Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. FL-8-11-E, "Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Launch Complex 39, Altitude Chambers, First Street, between Avenue D and Avenue E, Cape Canaveral, Brevard County, FL", 59 photos, 40 data pages, 7 photo caption pages
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