The Manned Spacecraft Operations Building (MSOB)

Aerial photo of the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building (MSOB).

The MSOB has several wings. The high bay and the low bay areas were for spacecraft integration testing of the spacecrafts (the CSM and the LM). In the high bay area the CSM and LM were stacked as shown in the picture below. This stack was then transported to the VAB to be mated with the Saturn V launch vehicle.

Credit to Google Earth.

The MSOB from above looking south-west.

The MSOB has four wings, from left to right (from south to north):

  • the Service Wing;
  • the Assembly and Test Wing with the huge 40'x 80' (12m x 24m) door (comprising six panels) of the Highbay area;
  • the Laboratory and Checkout Wing;
  • the Administrative and Engineering Wing.
The MSOB is a huge building, its footprint is over three times larger than the footprint of the Mission Control Center (MCC) complex in Houston. The floor plans drawings, shown below, are more or less on the same scale as the ones shown for the MCC on this page about the MCC

Credit to Google Earth.

The Manned Spacecraft Operations Building, floor plans

MSOB basement

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MSOB first floor

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MSOB second floor

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MOCR MOCR Hotspot:
Red area is linked to a description of the ACE control rooms
MSOB third floor

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MSOB fourth floor

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The Apollo spacecraft in the MSOB Assembly & Test Wing
picture 1
The Apollo spacecraft shown here in its entirety was the moon bound payload of the Saturn V rocket. It contains the Lunar Module and the Command Module & Service Module. The enclosure which surrounds the Lunar module is called the Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA).

Each of these spacecrafts were tested and stacked in the MSOB. After stacking the spacecrafts were transported from the MSOB to the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) where they were integrated with the Saturn V launch vehicle. The Launch Escape System was installed on top in the VAB.

Credit to NASA.
picture 1
Picture #01
Apollo 12 SM and CM in KSC’s MSOB shortly after their arrival; the Apollo 11 CSM can be seen in the background being hoisted by a crane.

Credit to NASA.
picture 2
Picture #02
The Apollo 11 CSM is lifted from an integration test stand, where the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM) have been mated.

Credit to NASA.
picture 3
Picture #03
The Apollo 12 LM Descent Stage shortly after their arrival in the MSOB at KSC.

Credit to NASA.
picture 4
Picture #04
The Apollo 12 LM Ascent Stage shortly after their arrival in the MSOB at KSC.

Credit to NASA.
picture 5
Picture #05
A scene in the Low Bay Area of the MSOB. Two Lunar Modules in preparations for two Apollo missions.

Credit to NASA.
picture 6
Picture #06
A scene in the High Bay Area of the MSOB. A Lunar Module is transported by a portal crane to one of the integrated test stands and is passing a CSM .

Credit to NASA.
picture 7
Picture #07
Lunar Module 4 (LM-4) being moved into position for mating with Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA-13) in one of the Integrated Test Stand in the High Bay Area of the MSOB.

Credit to NASA.
picture 8
Picture #08
The Command and Service Module (CSM) for Apollo 11 is placed on top of the Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA).

Credit to NASA.
picture 9
Picture #09
The CSM, the LM and the SLA have been integrated. The whole spacecraft has been shrouded with a protective blanket and is about to be transported to the VAB some 8 km away to be installed on top of a Saturn V launch vehicle.

Credit to NASA.

Facilities for astronauts on the third floor of the MSOB Assembly and Checkout Wing

Astronauts quarters in the MSOB Assembly and Checkout Wing

Credit to NASA and to KSC Photo Archives

Apollo 11 Prelaunch breakfast in the dining room of the astronauts quarters in the MSOB.

Credit to NASA    Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Apollo 17 Prelaunch breakfast in the dining room of the astronauts quarters in the MSOB.

Credit to NASA    Scanning credit to Kipp Teague


Suit up room in the MSOB Assembly and Checkout Wing

Credit to NASA

Apollo 11 crew has just left the suit-up room and walks towards the elvator at the 3rd floor of the MSOB (near support column I34). The elevator will bring them to the first floor.

Credit to NASA


Apollo 11 crew leaves the MSOB under skywalk nr.3 and are about to board the van which will bring them to the launch pad.

Credit to NASA



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Copyright 2021 by Sander Panhuyzen
Comments and questions welcome. All pictures and drawings contained on these pages are the author's, unless otherwise noted. No unauthorized reproduction without permission.