Abandoned In Place: Preserving America’s Space History

Fig. 2.9
Launch Ring, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, 
Cape CanaveralLaunch Ring,  Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, 1990

These beautiful haunting images are by Chicago-born photographer Roland Miller.
Miller has photographed the American Space Program for 25 years. His photographs are included in numerous permanent collections and exhibitions.

Abandoned In Place is a photographic exploration of the American space-launch and research facilities that played a crucial role in the early period of space exploration. The project serves not only as a documentary body of work, but also as an artistic interpretation of these historic sites. A unique combination of documentary, abstract, and hybrid images allows Abandoned In Place to be viewed from many perspectives. The exhibition records a vanishing era in both the space race and the cold war. The temporal nature of life is evident in views of decaying sites which once captured the attention of the entire world.

The facilities photographed in Abandoned In Place portray one of the most historic and technical adventures of the last century–from our first unmanned flights beyond the atmosphere to landing men on the moon. A sense of the urgency of the space race is evident in many of the images. Signs and labels in the images reflect the technology of the era. The structures depicted also recall the darker threat of nuclear war. Some of the images describe a future that could have been if the cold war had heated up. These launch complexes, engine test stands, and wind tunnels are the Bunker Hill and Gettysburg of the cold war. References to the Great Pyramids, Chichen Itza, Stonehenge, and other major archeological sites foreshadow the future of these modern ruins.

The goals of this project are to preserve and portray these abandoned sites through photography that surpasses the official government approach to documentation, and to lend some social, historic, and artistic insight to the subject.

One of the unique aspects of Abandoned In Place is the combined utilization of documentary and abstract approaches to the subject. This blended approach helps tell a more complete story of the effort to begin exploring space. The serendipity of juxtaposed objects and text on signs conveys a subtext beyond the documentary objectives of the work.” Roland Miller

Website / Abandoned in Place: the Book

Fig. 3.30
Wind Tunnel Test Chamber with Model,
7 X 10 Foot Wind Wind Tunnel Test Chamber with Model, 7 X 10 Foot Wind Tunnel, NASA Langley Research Center, Virginia 1997

Fig. 3.28
Twin Fans,
Full Scale, 30 X 60 Foot Wind Tunnel,
NASATwin Fans, Full Scale, 30 X 60 Foot Wind Tunnel, NASA Langley Research Center, Virginia 1997

Fig. 1.2
V2 Launch Site with Hermes A-1 Rocket,
Launch Complex 3 Launch Site with Hermes A-1 Rocket, Launch Complex 33 Gantry, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 2006

Fig. 1.11
Stairway,
Navaho Navaho Launch Complex 9,
Cape CanaverStairway, Navaho Navaho Launch Complex 9, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1990

Fig. 3.7
Sunrise,
Atlas Complex 13, 
Cape Canaveral Air Force StSunrise, Atlas Complex 13, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 1.15
Minuteman Missile Silo,
Space Shuttle Challenger BuriaMinuteman Missile Silo, Space Shuttle Challenger Burial Site, Complex 31, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 2005

Fig. 3.12
Gantry, Launch Umbilical Tower, and Ramp,
Atlas CompleGantry, Launch Umbilical Tower, and Ramp, Atlas Complex 13, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 3.26
Mobile Service Tower Platforms,
Atlas Launch Complex 3Mobile Service Tower Platforms, Atlas Launch Complex 36B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 2005

Fig. 6.16
Blockhouse,
Apollo Saturn Complex 37,
Cape Canaveral A Blockhouse, Apollo Saturn Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 3.13
Missile Fuel,
Atlas Complex 13,
Cape Canaveral Air ForMissile Fuel, Atlas Complex 13, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 3.18
Control Panels/Computers, Blockhouse,
Redstone ComplexControl Panels/Computers, Blockhouse, Redstone Complex 26, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 2000

Fig. 3.23
Atlas Rocket,
Air Force Space and Missile Museum,
CapeAtlas Rocket, Air Force Space and Missile Museum, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1993

Fig. 4.17
Launch Control Room,
Titan ICBM Missile Silo 395 CharlLaunch Control Room, Titan ICBM Missile Silo 395 Charlie, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California 1995

Fig. 6.15
Cable Way,
Apollo Saturn Complex 34,
Cape Canaveral AiCable Way, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 2000

Fig. 5.1	
Clean Room Winch,
Universal Environmental Shelter
TitaClean Room Winch, Universal Environmental Shelter Titan Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 2006

Fig. 4.2
Flooded Room Beneath Pad 19,
Gemini Titan Complex 19,
CFlooded Room Beneath Pad 19, Gemini Titan Complex 19, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 4.5
Horizontal Gantry from Base,
Gemini Titan Complex 19,
CHorizontal Gantry from Base, Gemini Titan Complex 19, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1991

Fig. 6.11
Launch Ring Restored,
Apollo Saturn Complex 34,
Cape CLaunch Ring Restored, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 2000

Fig. 6.7
ABANDON IN PLACE/PEACE,
Apollo Saturn Complex 34,
CapeABANDON IN PLACE/PEACE, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 3.31
Fan Motor Housing,
7 X 10 Foot Wind Tunnel,
NASA Langl Fan Motor Housing, 7 X 10 Foot Wind Tunnel, NASA Langley Research Center, Virginia 1997

Fig. 6.20
Liquid Fuel Tank Support,
Apollo Saturn Complex 37,
Ca Liquid Fuel Tank Support, Apollo Saturn Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1993

Fig. 6.4
Flame Deflector Tracks,
Apollo Saturn Complex 34,
CapeFlame Deflector Tracks, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1992

Fig. 6.10
Apollo One Fire Commemorative Blockhouse Service,
ApolApollo One Fire Commemorative Blockhouse Service, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida January 27, 1994

Fig. 6.22
Solar Simulator and 120-Foot Vacuum Chamber A,
NASA JoSolar Simulator and 120-Foot Vacuum Chamber A, NASA Johnson Space Center, Texas 1996

Fig. 6.26
Pressure Gauge Panel,
Apollo Saturn V F1 Engine Test SPressure Gauge Panel, Apollo Saturn V F1 Engine Test Stand, Boeing Facility, Santa Susana, California 1998

Fig. 6.33
Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury Test Models,
Spin Test TunApollo, Gemini, and Mercury Test Models, Spin Test Tunnel, NASA Langley Research Center, Virginia 1997

Fig. 6.40
Catacombs,
Apollo Saturn V F1 Engine Test Stand,
EdwarCatacombs, Apollo Saturn V F1 Engine Test Stand, Edwards Air Force Base, California 1998

Fig. 7.2
Sunrise,
Apollo Saturn Complex 34,
Cape Canaveral Air FSunrise, Apollo Saturn Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1993

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