The Crawlers

[SIZE=7]The Crawlers[/SIZE]
Crawler-transporter 2 (CT-2) moves slowly up the ramp to the surface of Launch Pad 39B for a fit check on May 22, 2018, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Credits: NASA/Leif Heimbold
A pair of behemoth machines called crawler-transporters have carried the load of taking rockets and spacecraft to the launch pad for more than 50 years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Each the size of a baseball infield and powered by locomotive and large electrical power generator engines, the crawler-transporters stand ready to keep up the work for the next generation of launch vehicles projects to lift astronauts into space.

The crawlers are unique in the world, having been built in 1965 to move the massive Saturn V rocket from Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39. After the moon landing and Skylab programs ended, the crawlers continued their work, taking space shuttles to their launch pads for 30 years.

With the shuttle fleet retired in 2011, the crawlers are envisioned as critical elements of future launch operations at Kennedy. One is expected to take commercially operated rockets and spacecraft to the launch pad. The other, Crawler-Transporter 2, is being strengthened to handle the Space Launch System (SLS), a rocket and launch tower combination.

Fun Facts
[li]Weight: Approximately 6.6 million pounds (or the weight of about 15 Statues of Liberty or 1,000 pickup trucks).[/li][li]Height: Varies from approximately 20 feet to 26 feet, based on the position of the jacking, equalization and leveling cylinders.[/li][li]Load Capacity: Able to transport 18 million pounds (or the weight of more than 20 fully loaded 777 airplanes).[/li][li]March 1963 – Fabrication began on the crawler-transporters in Ohio.[/li][li]Jan. 23, 1965 – The crawler moved under its own power for the first time.[/li][li]Aug. 26, 1967 – The first Saturn V rocket was moved to the launch pad for the unmanned Apollo 4 mission.[/li][li]May 1, 1979 – A crawler transported space shuttle Enterprise, with external tank and two inert solid rocket boosters, to Launch Pad A for fit check.[/li][li]Nov. 16, 2011 – Moved Space Launch System’s (SLS) mobile launcher from the park site beside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39B.[/li][/ul]
[B]Crawler-Transporter Fact Sheet[/B]
[B]Crawler-Transporter 2 Fact Sheet[/B]
[B]Crawler Infographic[/B]

Learn about NASA’s crawler-transporters at Kennedy Space Center through this video infographic. The crawler-transporter will carry the agency’s Orion spacecraft atop the Space Launch System rocket to Launch Pad 39B for Exploration Mission-1.

Extreme machine

That machine is epic!