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NASA Facts KSC Transporters 2000

NASA Facts KSC Transporters 2000

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Published by Bob Andrepont
NASA Facts booklet on Kennedy Space Center transporters used in the Space Shuttle program.
NASA Facts booklet on Kennedy Space Center transporters used in the Space Shuttle program.

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Jan 06, 2011
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01/07/2011

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NASA F
acts
KSC FORM 2-203NS (REV. 11/92)
National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899AC 321 867-2468
KSC Release No. FS-2000-04-28-KSCApril 2000
KSC Transporters
Transporters of several types are used throughout the Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) Launch Complex 39 Areato move orbiters, solid rocket motors, payloads and the Space Shuttles. The transporters first grew out of a needto move Project Apollo flight hardware and supporting structures, and later, the various elements supportingSpace Shuttle launches. The oldest type currently still in use at KSC is the crawler transporter (photo below); thenewest is the payload canister transporter. Each serves a unique purpose.
Crawler Transporter Solid Rocket Motor Transporter Payload Canister Transporter Orbiter Transporter 
 
Early Concepts
In 1961, President Kennedy set a national goal ofmaking a manned landing on the moon before the endof the decade. The National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration was assigned the responsibility ofaccomplishing this awesome feat. At the time, neitherthe huge and extremely sophisticated flight hardwarenor the supporting launch facilities existed.While other NASA facilities tackled the job ofdesigning and developing the Saturn V launch vehicleand the Apollo spacecraft for transporting three men tothe moon, Kennedy Space Center began the design ofthe launch complex.Heading the team at KSC was Dr. Kurt H. Debus,KSC director and rocketry pioneer with launchexperience dating from the 1930s.Because of the size and complications of handlingthe huge Saturn V rocket and the adverse environmentalfactors of wind, rain, highly corrosive salt air, electricalstorms, and hurricanes that exist at KSC, Dr. Debus’team departed from the conventional methods ofassembly and checkout of the launch vehicles at thelaunch pad. He decided that the Saturn V would beassembled and checked out in a Vehicle AssemblyBuilding (VAB) and then transported to the launch padon a mobile launch pad and tower.Conveyance of the mobile launcher and Saturn Vto the pad posed no small problem in the 1960s. Therocket and launcher would weigh 12 million pounds,and the distance would be 3.5 miles to Pad A and morethan 4 miles to Pad B. In addition, a portable servicetower would be required to be transported to the launchpads to service the Saturn V.Three concepts of transporting the vehicle andlauncher were proposed: a barge and canal system, arail system, and a land transporter. The task ofselecting one of these three systems and thentransforming a concept into reality fell to D.D. Buchanan,chief of the launcher systems and umbilical towerdesign section.After a year of study, in 1962 the cross-land trackedvehicle, or crawler transporter, was determined to bethe most feasible conveyance.Early concepts showed the transporter integralwith the mobile launcher, but exposure to launchdamage and possible long repair periods influencedthe selection of a transporter that would be completelyself-powered and separate from the structures. Thetransporter would be the largest land vehicle everconstructed, would weigh six million pounds, and wouldbe capable of transporting the mobile launcher with anassembled Saturn V or the mobile service structure.In July 1962, NASA approved the crawlertransporter concept, and in March 1963, a contractwas awarded to Marion Power and Shovel Co., Marion,Ohio, for the construction of two transporters.
Application to the Shuttle Program
Of credit to the individuals who designed the KSCcrawler transporters is the fact they did not embark onexotic schemes that might have taken years to developand would have cost many times more. Instead, theyused existing and proven concepts that were modifiedand ingeniously applied to the Apollo programrequirements.Construction of the transporters as separate andindependent of the mobile launch platform structuresproved both prudent and visionary in light of futurerequirements of the transporters. Although modificationswere necessary to support Shuttle operations, thetransporters have truly become the workhorses of theComplex 39 area. They will continue to function wellinto the 21st century using the same basic designinitiated in 1962.
Crawler Transporter
One of KSC twocrawler transporters (CT)transports the MobileLauncher Platform, withthe assembled SpaceShuttle aboard, betweenthe refurbishment area,the VAB, and Complex39 Launch Pads A andB. Normally, the CT liftsthe mobile launcher fromits parking site pedestalsat the refurbishmentarea, carries it into theVAB, and lowers it ontothe pedestals in the highbay.When the Shuttle orbiter has been mated to theexternal tank and solid rocket boosters, the CT lifts themobile launcher with the Shuttle, and carries it to thelaunch pad using a laser guidance system on thecrawler and a leveling system. Once at the pad, the CTlowers the Shuttle-topped mobile launcher onto thepad pedestals. The CT then moves to a park site awayfrom the pad to avoid possible damage from launch.After the Shuttle is launched, the CT lifts the mobilelauncher from the pad and returns it to the parkinglocation for refurbishment.
 
The Crawler Transporter consists of these systemsand subsystems:
AC Power SystemDC Power SystemAuxiliary Power SystemHydraulic SystemPneumatic SystemIntegrated Monitor and Control SystemJacking, Equalizing and Leveling SystemSteering SystemEngine Monitor SystemDC Propel SystemFire Detection, Alarm and Protection SystemLubrication SystemInstrumentation System
Crawler Transporter FactsHeight
Minimum (Cylinders retracted).................... 20 FeetMaximum (Cylinders extended).................. 26 Feet
Size
Overall................... 131 Feet Long / 113 Feet Wide
The four contact points (interface) the crawler makes to the MLP are arranged in a 90-foot square ——- 
(
same as the base line on a major league baseball field).
Cylinders
Jacking Hydraulic
(16 Each) .............. 20-Inch Diameter
Steering Hydraulic
(16 Each).......... 14.5-Inch Diameter
Guide Tube
(4 Each) .......................... 40-Inch Diameter
Weight
Overall........................................5.5 Million PoundsChassis......................................2.2 Million Pounds(lifted by hydraulic system)
Speed
Loaded..........................................................1 MPHUnloaded.......................................................2 MPH
Loads
Mobile Launcher Platform andSpace Shuttle.......................12.0 Million PoundsMobile Launcher Platform..........8.8 Million Pounds
Additional Facts
Trucks
Traction Motors.......................16 each (4 per truck)375 H.P. eachBelts..........................................8 each (2 per truck)Shoes....................................................57 per belts8 belts, 456 shoesShoe Weights............................2,200 Pounds each
Hydraulic System
Overall Capacity................... 3700-Gallon CapacitySteering................................... 4 pumps, 35.5 GPM@ 1200 RPM, per pumpPressure............................. 0-5,200 PSI MaximumJacking, Equalizing, Leveling (JEL).......... 8 pumps
Electrical System
DC Power System............... For 16 traction motors375 H.P.Diesel Engines........................... Alco, 16 Cylinders2 @ 2,750 H.P. eachGenerators (DC)..................... 4 @1,000 KW eachAC Power System......... Runs all onboard systemsDiesel Engines.......... White-Superior, 8 Cylinders,2 @ 1,065 H.P. each, for A/C powerGenerators................................ 2 @ 750 KW eachDiesel Fuel Capacity......................... 5,000 GallonsFuel Consumption..................... 42 Feet Per Gallon(approximately 125.7 Gallons Per Mile)Drive System Gear Ratio................................168:1
Solid Rocket Motor (SRM)Transporters
The Solid RocketMotor(SRM)Transporter moves theSpace Shuttle SRMsegments between theRotation, Processingand Surge Facility(RPSF) and the storagebuildings (Surge 1 andSurge 2) or the VAB.The SRM segments aredelivered to the RPSFfrom Utah by railroadcar where they areunloaded onto pallets.The SRM Transporter moves under the pallet,lifting both the pallet and the segment. The transporterthen moves the pallets and segments to either theSurge Facilities for storage or to the VAB transfer aislefor segment stacking. Four fueled segments arerequired for each of the two Solid Rocket Boostersused on each Shuttle flight.
The Solid Rocket Motor Transporter consists ofthese systems:
Drive SystemLifting SystemSteering SystemBrake SystemFire SystemDC Power and Control SystemCommunications SystemDiesel Engine and Cooling SystemPneumatic System

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