Space Shuttle Rollout

to the Launch Pad
hen the
hours along the speciallv built road called the
has completed
with its
Lxternal 1ank and
Solid Rocket
atop the
Mobile Launcher
Platíorm and
in the Vehicle
Assemblv Building
VAB,. it is readv
íor rollout to the
Launch Pad.
1he journev to
the launch pad ·ia
the (rawler-1ransporter (1, takes about six
crawlerwav. 1he crawlerwav is almost as
broad as an eight-lane turnpike. 1wo 40-
íoot-wide lanes are separated bv a 50-íoot-
wide median strip.
1he (1`s maximum speed unloaded is 2
mph: loaded. it is 1 mph. 1he (1 mo·es on
eight tracked tread
belts. each contain-
ing 5¯ tread belt
shoes.` Lach shoe
is ¯.5 íeet long. 1.5
íeet wide and
weighs approxi-
matelv 2.200
. More than
1.000 shoes 456 per
(1 plus spares,
were originallv
bv Marion
Power Sho·el (o.
when the (1s were
initiallv built in 1965.
New shoes were
made bv ML Global Manuíacturing oí
Duluth. Minn.. and installed in the íall 2004.
During the rollout. engineers and techni-
cians on the (1. assisted bv ground crews.
operate and monitor svstems while dri·ers
steer the ·ehicle toward its destination.
During the rollout. approximatelv 30
crew members are on board to operate the
Minimum (Cylinders retracted) ...............20 feet
Maximum (Cylinders extended) ...........26 feet
Overall .....................31 feet long /113 feet wide
Jacking Hydraulic (16 ea) ...........20-inch diam.
Steering Hydraulic (16 ea)........14.5-inch diam.
Guide Tube (4 ea) ........................40-inch diam.
Overall ..................................5.5 million pounds
Chassis ................................2.2 million pounds
MLP and Space Shuttle........12 million pounds
MLP.........................................8.8 million pounds
Diesel Capacity............................5,000 gallons
Consumption.........................42 feet per gallon/
125.7 gallons per mile
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Space Shuttle Atlantis approaches the Fixed Service
Structure on the launch pad in September 2002.
crawler. li·e oí those 30 are engineers. including three
dri·ers - a dri·er and backup in the íorward cab and
one dri·er in the rear cab: a JLL operator. who handles
jacking. equalization and
le·eling operations: and a
control room operator.
who runs all the other
the Launch (ontrol
svstems on the crawler
and communicates with
(enter. Nine engineers
are cur-rentlv certiíied to
dri·e the crawlers.
In addition to the
engineers. two electricians
handle power transíers
between the crawler and
the Mobile Launch
Platíorm or the ground-
based power. and two
electronic technicians
monitor the electronics in the control room. Also. there
are íour hea·v equipment diesel mechanics in charge oí
the engines - start-up. shut-down and monitoring.
1he balance oí the crew comprises mechanics who
monitor operations and aid in docking and jacking.
1he (1s ha·e a le·eling svstem designed to keep the
top oí a Space Shuttle ·ehicle ·ertical within plus or
minus 10 minutes oí one degree oí arc ha·ing the
dimensions oí a basketball. 1his svstem also pro·ides
the le·eling operations required to negotiate the íi·e-
percent ramp leading to the launch pads and to keep the
load le·el when it is raised and lowered on pedestals at
the pad and in the VAB.
Aíter the MLP is hard down` on the launch pad
pedestals. the crawler is backed down the ramp and
returned to its parking area.
The end of rollout
Rollout concludes with íinal processing at the pad.
Both Launch Pads 39A and 39B ha·e permanent
structures that enable the processing oí a Space Shuttle
íor launch: the lixed Ser·ice Structure lSS, and the
Rotating Ser·ice Structure RSS,.
1he lSS pro·ides access to the Space Shuttle orbiter
and to the RSS. Located on the west side oí the pad.
the lSS is a 40-íoot-square. cross-section steel structure
that allows workers to reach ·arious areas oí the Shuttle.
1he lSS includes the hvdrogen ·ent umbilical and
intertank access arm. ·ehicle ser·ice lines small helium
and nitrogen lines and electrical cables,. gaseous oxvgen
·ent arm. and orbiter access arm íor crew transíer to
the orbiter.
1he 130-íoot-high RSS pi·ots 120 degrees írom an
open position to encircle an orbiter íor changeout and
ser·icing oí the pavload at the pad. Orbiter access
platíorms at íi·e le·els pro·ide access to the pavload
bav with the pavload bav doors open. 1he RSS allows
the orbiter`s pavload bav doors to be open in the
en·ironmentallv controlled Pavload (hangeout Room.
1he RSS also pro·ides access íor ser·icing the
Orbital Maneu·ering Svstem OMS, pods. lvpergolic
íluids are loaded into the pods through these ser·icing
areas. Ouick disconnects are used to pro·ide íluid
interíaces between the ílight hardware and the ground
support equipment.
Now the Shuttle is readv íor launch. Kennedv
Space (enter. the home oí the Space Shuttle. is making
the Vision íor Space Lxploration a realitv.
Space Shuttle Endeavour leaves the
Vehicle Assembly Building high bay 3
atop a Mobile Launcher Platform for
launch of mission STS-100 in April
FS-2005-06-022-KSC NASA: Explore. Discover. Understand.
Inside the cab of crawler-
transporter 2, the United
Space Alliance driver
takes the vehicle on a test

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