These launch complexes, engine test stands, and wind tunnels are the Bunker Hills and Gettysburgs of the cold war. In his upcoming book, Abandoned in Place, Roland Miller takes readers on a “photographic exploration of the American space launch and research facilities that played a crucial role in the early period of space exploration. Some of the images describe a future that could have been if the cold war had heated up. This project is part guide book and part historical document – it “serves not only as a documentary body of work, but also as an artistic interpretation of these historic sites. The costs involved in restoring, maintaining, and securing these sites are enormous. Therefore, photography is the only practical method to preserve and portray these historic locations.”
“The facilities photographed in AIP 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. The structures depicted also recall the darker threat of nuclear war. The goals of this project are to preserve and portray these abandoned, deactivated, and repurposed sites through photography that surpasses the official government approach to documentation and to lend historical and artistic insight to the subject.”
With special permission (and an escort every time), Roland has managed to visit locations including the Marshall Space Flight Center in California, the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Kennedy Space Center as well as Cape Canaveral in Florida. The blockhouses, launch towers, tunnels, test stands, and control rooms featured in Abandoned In Place are rapidly giving way to the elements and demolition. The photographs cover all kinds of incredible objects and details, from cranes and gantries to blast doors, flame deflector tracks, launch rings and even lunar modules. Deserted Space: Photos Document NASA’s Abandoned Launch Pads
The race for space has shifted gears in recent years with the rise of private programs, leaving a series of amazing space-related graveyards around the United States, which this photographer has spent 25 years exploring and documenting. References to the Great Pyramids, Chichen Itza, Stonehenge, and other major archeological sites foreshadow the future of these modern ruins.”
Comment on Facebook By my estimates, fully half of the facilities I have photographed no longer exist.