An emergency egress system was part o the pad A contract. I a hazardous condition were to arise thatallowed sae egress rom the spacecrat, the astronautscould cross over to the mobile launcher on a swing arm.Tey would then ride one o the high-speed elevators tolevel A, slide down an escape tube to a thickly paddedrubber deceleration ramp, and enter -- through steel doors-- a blast room, which could withstand an on-the-padexplosion o the entire space vehicle.Tose inside could stay alive or at least 24 hours toallow rescue crews time to dig them out.
Transportation to the Pad
o lit, hold and move what would be the largest, tall-est and heaviest known portable structures on Earth, thecrawler-transporter was designed. Adapted rom sel-propelled, strip-mining shovels, themassive machines weighed 5.5 million pounds unloaded.Tis alone required a special roadway to support loadsnever envisioned or a public road -- in excess o 127,867pounds (58,000 kilograms) per square meter. Te design would comprise dual trackways, separated by a medianstrip, and would consist o more than three eet (1 meter)o selected sub-base material, topped by 3 eet (1 meter) o graded crushed aggregate, with a blacktop sealer over all. A service road would border the south side o thecrawlerway rom the VAB to pad A. Underground ductsor communication and instrumentation lines to link thecontrol and assembly areas with the launch pads wouldparallel the north side o the crawlerway; power line ductsand a pipeline or drinking water would go along thesouth side. Where any o the ducts or pipes had to pass be-neath the crawlerway, the access tunnels had to be capableo withstanding the load conditions.Te completed crawlerway would be level with the ter-rain, 7.5 eet (2.3 meters) above sea level.Te converter-compressor acility was built just northo the crawlerway, about one-third o the distance romthe VAB to pad A. It consisted o a one-story equipmentbuilding and a 1,892,000-liter spherical tank or storingliquid nitrogen, together with an access road and pavedparking areas. A railroad spur brought tank-car loadso helium and nitrogen to the acility. Its evaporators,compressors and pumps, in turn, supplied high-pressuregaseous nitrogen and helium to storage and distributionacilities at the VAB and the launch area.Te land clearing, channel dredging and sand ll wascompleted by September 1963. Six months later, similareorts began or launch pad B, plus construction o thecauseway rom Cape Canaveral to Merritt Island east o the industrial area.
Mobile Launcher Platform
Along with the massive rockets to be moved by thecrawler-transporter, the mobile launcher was part o thecargo.In planning and building the mobile launcher, themost difcult eatures were the nine swing arms, or servicearms, as they were also called, that would provide person-nel access and support electrical cables, propellant linesand pneumatic lines to the launch vehicle.Te service arms were to be amazingly complexpieces o equipment. For example, as many as 24 electriccables, each 50 millimeters in diameter, and about 44 uidservice lines, ranging rom 12 to 25 millimeters thick, went into a single umbilical carrier. Each arm would be wide enough or a jeep to drive across -- though none ever was to do so. Teir length varied with the conguration o the vehicle; they would average more than 22 metric tonsin weight.Prior to the rocket’s rst motion, ve arms woulddisconnect and begin withdrawal. Arms 4 and 6, provid-ing hydrogen vent ducting and the instrumentation unit, would retract at lito.Since plans called or the construction o the mobileservice structure on the parking site, this acility wouldhave to support considerable loads. Te service structure would weigh 4,763 metric tons. When the crawler-trans-porter moved beneath it, the total load on the parkingposition would be nearly 7,500 metric tons, heavier thanthe USS Halsey, a guided missile rigate.In addition to this, calculations showed that, should wind velocities reach 200 kilometers per hour, the servicestructure, standing by itsel on its our support legs in theparked position, with side struts and hold-down arms oreach leg, could exert about 6,300 metric tons o orce. o withstand these anticipated orces, the parking site had tohave a heavily reinorced base.
The fame trench bisects the launch pad.
Building KSC 3 NASA Facts