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NASA replaces its historic countdown clock after 45 years of operation

In anticipation of its new deep space explorer, NASA has unveiled a sleek countdown display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The modern, digital LED display is replacing the iconic analog countdown clock. The new display, which resembles a stadium monitor, is similar in size to the historic clock. It features a screen nearly 26 feet wide by 7 feet tall. The display isn’t true high-definition, but its video resolution will be 1280 x 360. 

A few days ago every space enthusiast got sentimental when, after 45 years of operation, the iconic countdown clock at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site was disassembled for removal. Perhaps more than any other piece of equipment near the launch site, the countdown clock was a piece of history. The clock was designed by local NASA engineers and built by local NASA technicians in 1969, and first used at the Apollo 12 launch. But now the digital countdown timer, which ticked off NASA’s manned and unmanned missions as they lifted off from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is gone. Hurricanes and harsh Florida weather have not spared one of the most-watched timepieces in the world, and it become harder to maintain as parts got older and more difficult to obtain.

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