Archiving Historic Launch Complex 14 in 3D

Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., played a huge part in America’s burgeoning space program in the 50s and 60s. Now a historical landmark, Launch Complex 14 was the site of numerous unmanned Atlas rockets and John Glenn’s historic Friendship 7 flight, in which he famously became the first American in orbit. (Above: Launch Complex 14 today.)

But the launch complex of today is a stark contrast from the impressive, bustling site it once was. Certain sections are well preserved, while much of it is in disrepair, teaming with weeds and rust.

A team from the University of South Florida is using 3D imaging to archive this valuable piece of American heritage before it disappears. With laser scanners and scan processing capabilities of 3D Systems’ Geomagic Studio, the USF team is capturing this monument and others like it from all over the world so that they may be virtually preserved for future generations and classroom study. (Right: Dr. Lori Collins evaluates scan data of the site.)

Click here to see how USF captures Launch Complex 14 in 3D. (Video from Orlando Sentinel)