We have seen many spectacular demolitions, but the destruction of the Mobile Service Structure at NASA/USAF's Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, is perhaps the most striking of them all: instead of imploding down, the whole ultra-strong metal structure falls to it side and actually seems to bounce on the ground—shattering cameras a mile away—looking almost intact after the dust clears up. The sound, even from the distance, is deafening.

The Launch Complex 40—and 41—was the base for the largest US expendable rocket, the Titan IV. It started operations in 1965 with Titan IIIC rockets, and it was home for the legendary Mars Viking (1975) and Voyager missions, which has been crossing our solar system since 1977. The site was also the launch pad for the failed Mars Observer mission, as well as the successful Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, which departed Earth on October 15, 1997.


The last launch was for a Lacrosse-5 reconnaissance satellite, launched on April 30, 2005 on board a Titan IVB rocket.

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