Jacobs Engineering Group has transported to a launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida a 380-foot-tall mobile launcher designed to support NASA’s Exploration Mission-1.
The company said Tuesday it moved ML atop Crawler Transporter-2 toward launch pad 39B for interface fit checks and then transported the launcher back to the vehicle assembly facility on Sept. 8 to facilitate multielement system validation and verification tests in the next few months.
“The ML passage to the launch pad atop Crawler Transporter-2 is a major milestone, as the last time a crawler-transporter and mobile launcher rolled out together was in 2011,” said Steve Arnette, senior vice president for Jacobs’ aerospace, technology, environmental and nuclear operations.
The launcher’s transportation is part of the company’s operations support contract with NASA under the Exploration Ground Systems program.
“This milestone represents the completion of construction and ground support equipment installation on the ML,” said Mike Bolger, EGS program manager at NASA.
ML is a two-story base with a tower equipped with umbilicals or connection structures and accessories designed to provide the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System with fuel, coolant, communications, stabilization and power before launch.
Orion and the SLS rocket are slated to take off in 2020 in support of EM-1.