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The firing rooms of the Kennedy Space Center have enormous windows that face the launch pads.

KSC Launch Control Center

However, personnel faced away from the windows, and thus away from the launchpad. Is there a documented reason why?

Apollo layout of firing room LCC cross-section

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    $\begingroup$ speculation: to reduce distraction. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Sep 17 '19 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Hobbes: That would have been my guess. Although the weather-person would be the one position I would want looking out a window, rather than at a screen. ;^) $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Sep 17 '19 at 12:49
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For shuttle, they didn't. At least not all of the consoles. Note the wood-covered consoles in the rear, they face the window.

This is Firing Room 4 which controlled the last 20 or so shuttle launches.

enter image description here

Source

A view from one of the consoles in Firing Room 3 which also faced the windows.

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(Personal photo)

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This let personnel observe the display screens shown at top in the cutaway diagram. Those displays mattered more than anything they could see through the windows.

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "injury"? Blindness? Shrapnel? $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Sep 17 '19 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I deleted my comment quickly because I simply missed the link that was there already. Never mind. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 17 '19 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ In that diagram, only about 1/3 of the room can see those upper display screens from their seat, so that doesn't explain the orientation of most people in the room. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Hoagie Sep 17 '19 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ I hope your spinal cord within the vertebral column is well protected against injuries, but it is a bit fragile. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Sep 17 '19 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ Wayne Hale says "Those big louvers on the windows facing the launch pad were merely for shade, not for blast protection. If something big hit them, they would probably just add to the shrapnel." waynehale.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/660 Moonport is ambiguous saying both "Two-centimeter-thick glass windows with adjustable sun visors in special aluminum frames faced the launch area" and "could be closed quickly in an emergency" ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=19790003956 $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 17 '19 at 17:22

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