A chapter in NASA's history closes

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (NBC) - Forty years of space history is being demolished at Florida's Kennedy Space Center as crews worked to begin dismantling historic launch pad 39-B.

The pad is one of two used for both the Apollo and Shuttle programs.

The last time pad 39-B was used, it launched an Aries 1X, which was to be the rocket to launch astronauts to the moon again. But the Aries program has since been scrapped.

The director of the space center said the future for NASA is bright.

"We have been directed to build a heavy-lift rocket," director Bob Cabana said during a news conference. "That allows us to go anywhere."

Pad 39-B saw the return to flight after the Challenger accident and 53 other shuttle launches. It is not yet clear when the Cape Canaveral launch pad will make history again.

Shuttle Discovery is prepared for its next flight on the only remaining pad, 39-A, where it is set to launch Monday.

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