Skip to main content

Space History Photo: Complex 39, NASA's Moonport, Under Construction

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building under construction in 1965
NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building is shown under construction in this view taken on Jan. 5, 1965 in Cape Canaveral, Fla., at the Kennedy Space Center.
(Image: © NASA.)

Complex 39 was NASA’s moonport. It was constructed between 1961 and 1966. The Vehicle Assembly Building, shown here under construction on Jan. 5, 1965, was huge — nearly twice as big as the Pentagon and 525 feet tall, just shy of the height of the Washington Monument.

The whole setup was too big for Cape Canaveral’s 17,000 acres. Sites in Hawaii, Georgia, the Bahamas and off the California and Texas coasts were considered. Ultimately officials chose this location on Merritt Island, next to the Cape Canaveral facilities. In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, a reflection of the Complex 39 Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is visible, along with the Launch Control Center (LCC) and Service Towers as seen from across the Turning Basin.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.