The launch site used for most NASA-led space exploration efforts since 1968, the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), will soon be home to more than 25 miles of AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company products.
AMERICAN has been involved in numerous projects at KSC over the years, but this particular project is part of an effort to update and add to the water infrastructure at the center. AMERICAN products are being used in Phase 4, “Revitalize Kennedy Space Center Water and Wastewater Systems.” More than 100,000 feet of 4- to 18-inch Fastite cement-lined ductile iron pipe will be installed as new water lines in some areas, and in others, will replace asbestos-cement pipes.
AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe also supplied a small amount of 8- to 14-inch Flex-Ring pipe to be used in six horizontal directional drills. AMERICAN Flow Control supplied 243 Series 2500 resilient wedge gate valves in 2- to 12-inch diameters, 27 Series 2500 resilient wedge gate valves in 14- to 18-inch diameters, 61 American-Darling B-84-B fire hydrants and three post indicator valves. Phase 4 of the project should be complete in summer 2014.
“I started building wastewater and water plants back in 1990 and have been purchasing AMERICAN products ever since. I can’t remember ever having any issues with AMERICAN’s products and all of the area representatives I have worked with have been great.”
KSC, covering 219 square miles in Merritt Island, Fla., has been the launch site of some of the most historically significant programs and aeronautics research in the world including the implementation of the Apollo Program, which was responsible for landing the first man on the moon; the Space Shuttle Program, which resulted in the country’s first manned, launched vehicle orbiter; and Skylab, the country’s first space station.
Some of the Fastite pipe for the project will be fitted with Fast-Grip gaskets for restrained areas while the rest will be fitted with standard Fastite gaskets. Ductile iron pipe, a high performance pipe material, is ideally suited for areas subject to harsh conditions. In addition to its strength and durability, it offers strong resistance to petroleum contaminants and extreme temperatures, like those experienced during a spacecraft launch.
Pipe is also being installed at the site of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the two launch pads at Launch Complex 39, and beneath the Crawlerway. The VAB was used to assemble American-manned launch vehicles from 1968-2011 and is the largest single story building in the world. The Crawlerway is a 100-foot wide double pathway between the VAB and the two launch pads, used to transport shuttles to the launch pads. In addition, jack and bore lines were installed under the Shuttle Landing Facility, using Fastite pipe with Fast-Grip gaskets.
Pipe products were sold to RTD Construction, Inc., general contractor for the project. RTD’s working relationship with AMERICAN dates back more than 23 years. “I started building wastewater and water plants back in 1990 and have been purchasing AMERICAN products ever since,” said Steve Rea, RTD senior project manager. “I can’t remember ever having any issues with AMERICAN’s products and all of the area representatives I have worked with have been great.”
RTD is working closely with NASA contracting officers and field inspectors to accomplish the project, planning maintenance of traffic in the area and making sure personnel at the center still have running water during work hours.
KSC’s Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011, but the Center continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for the U.S. government’s civilian space program from three pads at the adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Center employs more than 13,000 people.