Moonfire Quote June 21, 2017LifeShelbie Fredericks Because the sides were usually open, one could look out from the platforms to other constellations of girders and buildings and could look down from whichever great height to the floor of the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building), sometimes as much as forty stories below. Note however: one was still inside a closed space, and the light which filtered through translucent panels rising from floor to ceiling was dim, hardly brighter than the light in a church or an old railroad terminal. One lost in consequence any familiar sense of recognition — you could have been up in the rigging of a bridge built beneath the dome of some partially constructed and enormous subterranean city, or you could have been standing on the scaffolding of an unfinished but monumental cathedral, beautiful in this dim light, this smoky concatenation of structure upon structure, of breadths and vertigos and volumes of open space beneath the ceiling, tantalizing views of immense rockets hidden by their clusters of work platforms. One did not always know whether one was on a floor, a platform, a bridge, a fixed or impermanent part of this huge shifting ironwork of girders and suspended walkways. It was like being in the back of the stage at an opera house, the view as complex, yet the ceiling was visible from the floor and the ceiling was more than fifty stories up, since above the rockets were yet some massive traveling overhead cranes. To look down from the upper stages of the rocket, or from the highest level where the crew would sit, was to open oneself to a study of the dimensions of one’s fear of heights. Down, down, a long throw of the soul down, down again, still falling was the floor of the building, forty floors below. The breath came back to the chest from an abyss. And in one corner of the floor like a stamp in the edge of a large envelope was a roped-in square of several hundred tourists gawking up at the yellow cranes and the battleship-gray girders.