Image: Crawler-transporter passes milestone test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

February 14, 2014
Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The crawler-transporter that will carry NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft to Launch Pad 39B for launch on Exploration Mission-1 in 2017 recently passed the first phase of an important milestone test at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program completed testing of new traction roller bearings on crawler-transporter 2 (CT-2), on two of the massive vehicle's truck sections, A and C, in late January. The new roller bearing assemblies that were installed on one side of the crawler are visible in this Jan. 31, 2014 image. CT-2 returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center, where work continues to install new roller bearing assemblies on the B and D truck sections.

For more than 45 years the crawler-transporters were used to transport the mobile launcher platform and the Apollo-Saturn V rockets and, later, space shuttles to Launch Pads 39A and B. Upgrades to CT-2 are necessary in order to increase the lifted-load capacity from 12 million to 18 million pounds to support the weight of the mobile launcher and future launch vehicles, including the SLS and Orion.

Explore further: Endeavour is readied for launch pad move

Related Stories

Endeavour to Move to Launch Pad Monday

February 12, 2008

Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Monday, Feb. 18, as preparations move forward for the STS-123 mission. Endeavour is targeted to lift off March 11 ...

NASA puts new Ares I-X rocket on launch pad for test flight

October 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- For the first time in more than a quarter century, a new vehicle is sitting at Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ares I-X flight test vehicle arrived at the pad atop of a giant ...

Shuttles carried to the pad by slow-motion giants

September 28, 2010

For more than 40 years, the twin crawler-transporters at NASA's Kennedy Space Center have traveled the gravel track between the massive Vehicle Assembly Building and the two launch pads at Launch Complex 39. These mammoth ...

NASA's colossal crawler gets souped-up for SLS

September 7, 2012

One of NASA's two iconic crawler-transporters—the 2,750-ton monster vehicles that have delivered rockets from Saturns to Shuttles to launch pads at Kennedy Space Center for nearly half a century—is getting an upgrade ...

Recommended for you

Saturn and Enceladus produce the same amount of plasma

February 12, 2016

The first evidence that Saturn's upper atmosphere may, when buffeted by the solar wind, emit the same total amount of mass per second into its magnetosphere as its moon, Enceladus, has been found by UCL scientists working ...

Gravitational waves found, black-hole models led the way

February 11, 2016

Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity in 1916, and now, almost exactly 100 years later, the faint ripples across space-time have been found. The advanced Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave ...

The 'glitching' of the Vela pulsar

February 9, 2016

(Phys.org)—A team of Australian astronomers has conducted an intensive observation of a curious young pulsar to investigate changes in its rotation frequency known as 'glitching'. Located about 910 light years from the ...

Earth-like planets have Earth-like interiors

February 8, 2016

Every school kid learns the basic structure of the Earth: a thin outer crust, a thick mantle, and a Mars-sized core. But is this structure universal? Will rocky exoplanets orbiting other stars have the same three layers? ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.