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  [Discuss] SLS Mobile Launcher (ML) development

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SLS Mobile Launcher (ML) development
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-17-2011 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topics ...focused on status updates, reader's feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss NASA's development of a new mobile launcher for its Space Launch System.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 11-17-2011 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mobile Launcher (ML) moves to launch pad
Pad B doesn't quite look so sad now does it?

328KF
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posted 11-17-2011 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd like see an empty launcher on the pad because the rocket just left, rather than because the rocket hasn't been built yet.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 11-18-2011 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
Pad B doesn't quite look so sad now does it?
Too bad Guenter wasn't there to kick the tires. I really miss him.

apolloprojeckt
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From: arnhem netherlands
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posted 11-18-2011 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did they build also a new crawler or is this still the old version with some modifications?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-18-2011 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was one of the two same crawler-transporters previously used during Apollo and space shuttle, without modification.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-24-2011 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to follow-up, the Apollo and space shuttle-era crawlers will be undergoing a number of upgrades to support the Space Launch System.

For example, their driver cabs and engineering room will be swapping out their analog controls for touch screens. They'll also be receiving new generators, rollers and hydraulic lifts to meet the requirements of the new launch vehicle.

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 11-24-2011 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be great if they could set up a display with the removed parts as a sit in cab.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 11-28-2011 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there any particular reason why they painted the SLS launch tower grey instead of red like the Apollo launch towers?

Fezman92
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From: New Jersey, USA
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posted 11-28-2011 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
It would be great if they could set up a display with the removed parts as a sit in cab.
That would be a great thing to see if they could put it on display. I assume the crawler is automatic. It would be funny to find out that they drive it using stick shift.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-28-2011 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can see the driver's cab controls as part of our article and photo gallery for the 40th anniversary of the crawler's use.
"We had a joystick up there [in the driver's cabin] during my days," explained Sylvan "Skip" Montagna, a former Bendix employee who drove the crawlers during Apollo. "Today I understand they have little knobs up there. We had the experience of having the controls that were built for it.

As [crawler engineer] Bill [Clemens] said, most of them didn't work at the time, and you've got to appreciate this is a machine [that is] one of a kind so all the controls they built for it, they really didn't work right. As time goes on, we kind of refined them and told the engineers what we'd like to have and they'd refine them," said Montagna.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
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posted 02-18-2013 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
Is there any particular reason why they painted the SLS launch tower grey instead of red like the Apollo launch towers?
Yes, because that red lead anti corrosion paint is seldom used anymore due to toxicity.

butch wilks
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From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 02-08-2015 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is NASA going construct a mobile service structure for the SLS as they did for the servicing of the Saturn V at the pad?

If so, has anyone seen plans for it and a date for the construction of it? If not, how are they going to do the servicing of the SLS at the pad this time?

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
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posted 02-08-2015 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is no need for an MSS. The SLS will be designed so that time on the pad is a matter of days vs weeks and that all necessary access will be either be from the VAB or umbilical tower.

This puts SLS inline with other launch vehicles processes, where there is not another access facility other than the integration facility (Atlas V: Vertical Integration Facility, Delta IV: Mobile Service Tower, Falcon 9: Hangar).

butch wilks
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posted 02-09-2015 03:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Jim for the info. I asked as the SLS is so much bigger than the launch vehicles you mentioned, and with service structures that are closer and/or mobile to the vehicles than the SLS are going to be.

If you cannot fix a problem with the umbilical tower, then it a 3.5 mile rollback trip and up to 8 hours in time back to the VAB and then you have to start all over with the rollout one more time. I think it better to have a mobile service structure for the SLS.

Plus I'd like to point out that the SLS has no weather protection at the pad, the Saturn V had the MSS and NASA had to add weather protection to the fixed service structure after Challenger.

So are they really going to rollback to the VAB everytime it gets too cold at the pad?

Jim Behling
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posted 02-09-2015 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, it isn't better to have a MSS. There is no need.

Size has no bearing on the matter. Atlas V ride weather while exposed at the pad. It would only roll back for hardware problems. So what if the rollback is 3.5 miles and 8 hours? The SLS is only launching a max of two times a year. No need to waste hundreds of millions on a tower.

The MSS provided no weather protection to Saturn V (only the spacecraft) and the FSS/RSS weather protection was for the orbiter.

What does "too cold" have to do with rolling back?

Just because SLS is on LC-39 doesn't mean it is following Apollo or shuttle practices. Again, look to the other launch vehicles. Actually, that was one of the problems of Constellation and still one of SLS/Orion problems, using shuttle processes, when there are better or more efficient one out there.

p51
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posted 02-24-2015 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious, were the original engines yanked out of the crawlers about 4 years ago preserved anywhere? I assume they weren't used somewhere else, even though they couldn't have had too many hours on them, regardless of how old they were at the time...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2015 12:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The release describing the engines' removal in March 2012 reported:
The removed engines are being drained, cleaned and readied for transport by flatbed truck to Ransom Road where they will be resold or recycled.

Headshot
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posted 02-26-2015 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is NASA overhauling CT-1 also?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2015 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CT-1 has received some upgrades but won't be able to transport SLS. It will be able to move the new mobile launcher (without SLS), if needed, but otherwise is being reserved to support future commercial launch vehicles, as needed.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 04-22-2016 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has it been decided which Mobile Launch Platform will be used for the SLS?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 34634
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-22-2016 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SLS is using the mobile launcher platform originally built for the Ares rockets.

The needed modifications are now complete and testing of the umbilical arms is underway.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 04-23-2016 07:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there any further word about a name for the new rocket? They can't keep calling it "SLS" (a whole system, not a specific launcher). I still suggest "Prometheus."

GACspaceguy
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posted 04-23-2016 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since the SLS is a huge vehicle, as well as the task ahead of it whether it is an asteroid or Mars mission is a huge undertaking, I am thinking "Colossus".

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
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posted 04-23-2016 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't want to waste a name on a vehicle that is going to have less than a handful of launches.

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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posted 05-18-2016 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
SLS is using the mobile launcher platform originally built for the Ares rockets.
I had read several years ago -c 2011- (perhaps here at cS) that the new (2009/2010) Ares MLP was going to be scrapped as it was not able to be modified for SLS. So what changed?

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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posted 05-18-2016 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think my answer is here although it doesn't really address why the earlier assessment was to scrap.

It is interesting to note that the 2011 estimate to modify the Ares MLP for SLS was $74 million. A subsequent estimate (2012) was $174 million. I wonder how much was actually spent to modify the Ares MLP which cost $234 million to build in 2009/2010?

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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posted 05-18-2016 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wasn't sure where to post — perhaps it should be its own topic — but I have a question concerning the 'posts/pedestals' (correct term?) that support the MLP/ML. They are shown in the video posted here.

They are shown in the video at 4:51 (with angled support beam) and again at 6:30 (labeled '4') without a angled support beam. How are they connected to the MLP/ML and the fixed ground surface (VAB, pad, etc)? Are they hydraulically operated or just a fixed height? There seem to be four under the modified Ares ML but old pics of the shuttle seem to show eight of them.

What was the arraignment used with the Apollo/Saturn MLPs? In the video why are the techs using tape measures? Any/all info on these 'posts' and their usage is appreciated.

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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posted 05-18-2016 07:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Appendix B of Moonport, page 536:
Platform supported by six steel pedestals 7 meters high when in VAB or on pad. Four additional extensible columns used at pad, to stiffen platform during firing.

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