Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NASA Crawlers Celebrate 40 Years of Service

NASA is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its twin transporter/crawlers; those gigantic machines that slowly and carefully relocate launch equipment, rockets and spacecraft, with the precision of a ballerina and the footprint of a Titan.

Each transporter is powered by a 2,750 horsepower diesel engine, achieving a whopping 1 mph. And each uses 16 jacking, equalizing and leveling cylinders to keep its surface level during those "high speed" trips.
In all, the crawlers have transported seven different types of launch vehicles including the Saturn V, every shuttle spacecraft, every Apollo spacecraft and Skylab.

Designing the beasts was difficult and building them a chore in itself, but keeping them running for four decades without a warranty from the manufacturer? Simply amazing...

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