Author Topic: SLS Mobile Launcher debut trip to Pad 39B - November 16, 2011  (Read 52489 times)

Offline brettreds2k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 714
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 25
So eventually 39A will be converted to a clean pad from what I understand, But it seems NASA will make who ever wants to use it pay for the demolition to convert it.

Orbiters I have visited in retirement:

[ ] Enterprise
[X] Discovery
[X] Atlantis
[ ] Endeavour

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8689
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5459
  • Likes Given: 1793
From a recent update at the Exploration AMDB:

Scott Colloredo, the chief architect for the 21st Century Ground Systems Program:

When the program officials are considering what changes to make to Kennedy facilities, they place a premium on keeping options open so as many launchers as possible can use a given facility. When Launch Pad 39B was refurbished, for example, the result was a "clean pad" with no fixed servicing tower and permanent clean room, both of which were there to support the space shuttles.

Instead, designers made room for the things every launcher will need, such as a water sound suppression system, electronics and data links and a flame trench to funnel exhaust away from the rocket.

"We want to be flexible, evolving, as multi-use as possible," Colloredo said. "The clean pad approach was a big part of that."

The redone Launch Pad 39B got a glimpse of the future recently when workers moved the 355-foot-tall mobile launcher into place for tests. After two weeks at the pad, theML was driven back to its park site beside the Vehicle Assembly Building atop one of the two crawler-transporters.

The structural testing and systems checks on the ML went well, Colloredo said.

"It's the first time we've done something like that in a long time," he said. "The clean pad functioned like we thought it would."

The mobile launcher took two years to build and it will go through some modifications to host the Space Launch System, or SLS. The SLS is NASA's booster that is being developed to launch astronauts to an asteroid, the moon and other deep space destinations.

The SLS also is a modular rocket, so components of the system can be mixed and matched to suit the payload and mission. Therefore, the engineers are making the mobile launcher able to host five different versions of the SLS.

The SLS and ML are expected to remain at the pad for only five days before launch, a far cry from the weeks a shuttle would spend there getting ready for liftoff.

There will be a certain tie between the ML and the shuttle pads, Colloredo said. The orbiter access arm used at Launch Pad 39A is going to be used as the crew access arm on the ML, meaning that astronauts getting into NASA's Orion spacecraft will stride down the same metal walkway the shuttle astronauts used.