Here's neat image from Wikipedia:

two Space Shuttles and two towers

On the right there's a tall white tower with a rounded tank on top looking much like a water tower. There's another one right behind the first one opposing the other spaceship.

What's that tower and what is it for?


This tower is 290 ft. high. It has storage capacity of 300000 gallons of water used during STS launches to protect the Orbiter and its payload from acoustic vibrations due to SRB's firing. The pipes beneath the tower are the main distribution area.

For more information, including a virtual walkaround, please visit http://nasatech.net/ntSubPad39A_PAGE.html, in particular this view.

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    $\begingroup$ Come on, tell us it's a War of the Worlds alien in disguise... $\endgroup$ – smci Feb 16 '15 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ @smci - I can neither confirm nor deny it. $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Feb 16 '15 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ Here is extended high speed camera footage of space shuttle launches showing all the water cooling going on. In it, they specifically point out these towers and their purpose (as stated in the answer). $\endgroup$ – user10509 Feb 5 '16 at 13:28

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