September 06, 2008
The Mobile Launcher Platform is a two-story steel structure which provides a transportable launch base for the Space Shuttle. First used in the Apollo/Saturn program, the Platforms underwent modifications for the Shuttle.
Unloaded, a Platform weighs about 8.23 million pounds. With an unfueled Shuttle aboard, it weighs about 11 million pounds.
A Crawler-Transporter moves a fully assembled Space Shuttle, mounted on a Mobile Launcher Platform, from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad. The huge tracked vehicles, originally used during the Apollo era, underwent modifications for the Shuttle. With the Space Shuttle aboard, the Crawler can creep at a maximum speed of about 1 mile per hour; unloaded, it can manage about 2 miles per hour.
The two Crawlers are about 20 feet high, 131 feet long, and 114 feet wide - about the size of a baseball diamond. Each one weighs about 6 million pounds unloaded. A Crawler has eight tracks, each of which has 57 shoes or cleats. Each shoe weighs approximately one ton
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