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NASA Facts Crawler Transporters 2006

NASA Facts Crawler Transporters 2006

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Aug 07, 2011
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08/07/2011

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Crawler Transporters
 A 
credit to the individuals who designed theKennedy Space Center crawler transport-ers is the act they did not embark on exoticschemes that might have taken years to developand would have cost many times more. In-stead, they used existing and proven conceptsthat were modied and ingeniously applied tothe Apollo program requirements.Construction o the crawlers as separateand independent o the mobile launch platormstructures proved both prudent and visionary in light o uture requirements o the trans-porters. Spanning multiple programs, thecrawlers have truly become the workhorses o the Complex 39 area. Tey continue to unc-tion well in the 21st century using the basicdesign initiated in 1962. 
Crawler TransporterTread Belt Shoes
Each transporter travels on eight trackedtread belts, each containing 57 tread belt“shoes.” Each shoe is 7.5 eet long, 1.5 eet wide and weighs approximately 2,100 pounds.More than 1,000 shoes (456 per crawler, plusspares) were provided by Marion Power ShovelCo. in Ohio when the crawlers were initially built in 1965.In the early 1980s, this original shoe quan-tity was supplemented with 228 new shoes percrawler rom oundries in Bay City, Mich., andKobe, Japan. Tese additional shoes permittedthe implementation o a shoe reurbishmentprogram in the late 1980s, as each transporterapproached 1,000 miles o use. o date, morethan 500 shoes have been reurbished andplaced into operation. Te crawlers perormed well or nearly 40 years supported by the shoereurbishment program, which was designed toextend shoe lie indenitely.However, in September 2003, a crack was
      N      A      S      A
       f     a     c       t     s
ound on an original Marion shoe. In the ol-lowing months, additional inspections revealedthat this crack was not an isolated occurrence,prompting the acceleration o new shoe pro-curement activities. Subsequent NASA/UnitedSpace Alliance analysis revealed the existingshoes were experiencing atigue ailures due tointernal manuacturing faws that dramatically reduced the service lie o the shoes.In December 2003, the development o more restrictive design specications was initi-ated to prevent the manuacturing faws oundin the existing shoes. ME Global o Duluth,Minn., was the only domestic supplier thatproposed to manuacture all o the requiredshoes within both the quality and schedulerequirements. In mid-May 2004, ME Global was contracted to produce all o the requiredreplacement shoes pending successul qualica-tion o the company’s production process.In time to support the shuttle’s returnto fight, the rst o 53 shipments (19 shoes)arrived at KSC in early September 2004, withothers ollowing shortly ater.
The Crawlers at Work
One o the two crawlers transports theassembled space shuttle, sitting atop the mobilelauncher platorm, rom the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pads 39A and 39B.Te transporter lits the mobile launcherplatorm rom its parking site pedestals at thereurbishment area, carries it into the Vehicle Assembly Building, and lowers it onto thepedestals in the high bay. When the orbiter has been mated to theexternal tank and solid rocket boosters (thusbecoming the space shuttle), the crawler litsthe mobile launcher with the space shuttle,and carries it to the launch pad using a laserguidance system and a leveling system on thecrawler.
 
Once at the pad, the crawler lowers the mobile launch-er onto the pad pedestals. Te transporter then moves to apark site away rom the pad to avoid possible damage romlaunch. Ater the space shuttle is launched, the crawlerlits the mobile launcher rom the pad and returns it to theparking location or reurbishment.Te crawler transporter consists o these systems andsubsystems: AC Power DC Power Auxiliary PowerHydraulic Pneumatic Steering
Engine Monitor DC Propel LubricationInstrumentationIntegrated Monitor and Control Jacking, Equalizing and LevelingFire Detection, Alarm and Protection
Height
Minimum (Cylinders retracted) ................20 eetMaximum (Cylinders extended) ................26 eet
Size
Overall .......................131 eet long /113 eet wideTe mobile launcher platorm contacts the crawlerat our points, arranged in a 90-oot square (sameas the base line on a major league baseball eld).
Cylinders
 Jacking Hydraulic .......20-inch diameter (16 each)Steering Hydraulic ...14.5-inch diameter (16 each)Guide ube (4 each) ....................40-inch diameter
Weight
Overall .....................................5.5 million poundsChassis .....................................2.2 million pounds(lited by hydraulic system)
Speed
Loaded ........................................................1 mphUnloaded ....................................................2 mph
Loads
Mobile Launcher Platorm and Space Shuttle..................................................12 million poundsMobile Launcher Platorm....... 8.8 million pounds
Trucks
raction Motors (16 each/4 per truck).......................................................375 hp eachBelts....................................8 each (2 per truck)
Hydraulic System
Overall Capacity............................3,700 gallonsSteering ............................4 pumps, 35.5 GPM@ 1200 RPM, per pumpPressure.............................5,200 PSI maximum Jacking, Equalizing, Leveling (JEL)......8 pumps
Electrical System
DC Power System
 
For 16 traction motors
 
..
..
.................375 hpDiesel Engines .......................Alco, 16 cylinders2 @ 2,750 hp eachGenerators (DC) ...............4 @1,000 KW each
AC Power System
 
Runs all onboard systemsDiesel Engines .......White-Superior, 8 cylinders,2 @ 1,065 hp each, or A/C powerGenerators ............................2 @ 750 KW eachDiesel Fuel Capacity ....................5,000 gallonsFuel Consumption ..............1 gallon per 42 eet(approximately 125.7 gallons per mile)Drive System Gear Ratio..........................168:1
Crawler Transporter Facts
Crawler Transporters 2 NASA Facts
 
Historical Timeline
•
March 1963
– Fabrication began on the crawler transporters in Ohio.
 April 1963
– NASA decided to separate the launcher rom its transporter and build only two crawlers.
 June 13, 1963
– NASA ocially decided to use the crawler concept.
September 1963
– The Corps o Engineers asked or a thorough analysis o the wind-load actors on thecrawler.
December 1963
– Marion had completed 90 percent o the design and promised that parts o the vehiclewould begin to arrive at the launch area in March 1964.
November 1964
– Assembly o the rst crawler transporter was completed on Merritt Island, Fla.
November 1964
– The crawlerway was ready or testing.
 January 23, 1965
– The crawler moved under its own power or the rst time.
March 1965
– Road tests, mating, and modications were completed.
 June 22, 1965
– The hydraulic jacking and leveling system was ready or testing when the crawler picked upits rst load, a mobile launcher.
 July 24, 1965
– In a test, the crawler moved a launch umbilical tower about 1.6 kilometers on two shortstretches o road. One was suraced with washed gravel and the other with crushed granite.
 July 27, 1965
– Metal ragments were discovered and a thorough search disclosed pieces o bearing races,rollers and retainers rom the crawler’s traction-support roller assembly.
December 1965
– Marion reinstalled the support roller shats.
 January 28, 1966
– The crawler successully transported a mobile launcher approximately 1.6 kilometers tothe Vehicle Assembly Building.
Early 1966
– Both crawlers became operational.
 August 26, 1967
– The rst Saturn V rocket was moved to the launch pad or the unmanned Apollo 4launch.
October 9, 1968
– A Saturn V rocket was moved to the launch pad or Apollo 8, the rst manned Saturn Vlaunch.
February 27, 1973
– The crawler carried rst Saturn IB to launch pad or the Skylab 2 mission.
May 1, 1979
– A crawler transported space shuttle Enterprise, with external tank and two inert solid rocketboosters, to Launch Pad A or t check.
Early 1980
– The original shoe quantity was supplemented with 228 new shoes per crawler rom oundriesin Bay City, Mich., and Kobe, Japan.
December 29, 1980
– A crawler moved space shuttle Columbia out to Launch Pad 39A or STS-1 fight.
September 2003
– A crack was ound on an original Marion shoe.
December 2003
– The development o more restrictive design specications was initiated to prevent themanuacturing faws ound in the existing shoes.
Mid-May 2004
– ME Global was contracted to produce all o the required replacement shoes pendingsuccessul qualication o the company’s production process.
September 2004
– The rst 53 new shoes arrived rom ME Global.
 April 6, 2005
– A crawler, with new shoes and modications, moved space shuttle Discovery to Launch Pad39B or its STS-114 return-to-fight mission.
Crawler Transporters 3 NASA Facts

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