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Digital archaeologists preserve historic space launch sites


Archaeologists are working to photograph and digitally preserve the concrete and steel launch complexes from the early days of America’s space program.

Using new laser scanners and digital photography, researchers are creating amazing, detailed 3-D images of the launch complexes used for historic missions like John Glenn’s Friendship 7, which made him the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962.

They can also create miniaturized, exact 3-D models of the facilities that will likely be used by museums in the future.

“The buildings have a very important place in American History,” said Bart McLeod, an AIST research assistant whose first memories of the space program were of the shuttle. “I feel very fortunate to be able to digitally document these buildings.”

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Story: Lloyd Sowers, My Fox Tampa Bay | Photo: My Fox Tampa Bay

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