Nasa countdown clock to be retired!

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Copyright: NASA/Jim Grossmann
Copyright: NASA/Jim Grossmann

Talking of Space (which we were, with both Robert and Brian’s posts on the Kennedy Space Center or KSC, and Space Camp), you may be interested in the news that Nasa’s hugely famous countdown clock is ticking down.

In other words, countdown has begun for the replacement of the iconic launch clock which the boys saw at KSC. The Apollo-era digital clock is heading for retirement (well, none of us stay young forever and it has been on site for more than 40 years).

You would definitely recognise the clock, which ticks down the hours, minutes and seconds to the next launch. It used 40 watt light bulbs to form digits and a plus or minus sign to count up (or down) but those parts are dated and difficult to replace, so the clock is now to be replaced with something more up to date, such as the one in Times Square.

“We are looking at [installing] a bigger screen that will look more modern,” said Lisa Malone, director of public affairs at Kennedy Space Center. “It will be more flexible, so we’ll be able to show the countdown, as well as have additional room to show NASA TV programming, too.”

But the clock isn’t going to the scrap heap – have no fear of that. Instead it will be removed intact and plans are to send it either the Smithsonian in Washington DC or keep it on display at KSC.

You can see the clock here.

Read Robert’s account of his trip to Space Camp

Let Brian tell you what you should be doing if you visit Kennedy Space Center

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3 Responses

  1. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    There is something rather iconic about this clock – it has provided the countdown for so many launches. However, I am happy to hear that it will be kept on display and will be replaced with a more energy-efficient option!!

  2. Tamara @ We3Travel

    That is a little sad! I loved our visits to both the Kennedy Space center and the National AIr and Space museum. With a daughter who’d love to work for NASA someday, we seek out these destinations.

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