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SLS mobile launch platform for this week – Spaceflight Now



The mobile launch platform of the Space Launch System will be displayed with a caterpillar transporter during an elevator operation at the beginning of this year. Credit: NASA / Kim Shiflett

The mobile platform designed to carry the NASA space-launching system will hike to the mega-rocket launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday before embarking on the massive vehicle assembly building The spaceport will be the first time next month.

After a tedious process of rebuilding the base of the tower, Florida base launchers installed more than half a dozen retractable arms, umbilical links, and support towers on the mobile launcher over the past 18 months

Originally designed for NASA Ares 1 Launched Rocket, a single-booster launch vehicle that never flew on an orbital mission before being canceled in 2010, the mobile launch platform is nearly 400 meters high and weighs approximately 10.5 million pounds. After the Ares 1 rocket was terminated in 2010 with the NASA lunar program, NASA decided to modify the structure for the more powerful Space Launch System, which replaced the Ares rocket family as a launch vehicle for the space agency's ambitions for deep space exploration

] The SLS will be more than 30 stories high and become the world's strongest carrier after its premiere. Its main application area will be the NASA Orion Capsule, a four-headed machine that brings astronauts close to the moon, where NASA wants to build a mini space station in a high-altitude lunar orbit.

One NASA's Heavy-Duty Tracked Vehicle, a remnant of the Apollo Lunar Program, lifts the mobile launch platform and transfers it from a park area north of the Space Center's vehicle building to Launch Pad 39B, the coastal facility where SLS missions will take place Starting with the often delayed test flight of the mega rocket in mid-2020 on an unmanned launch.

Unlike the Space Shuttle disengaged launch platforms, the SLS Launch Table includes a fixed tower with lift and connections to direct propellants, cleaners, energy and other goods between the launch vehicle and the ground supplies.

The team access arm for the Orion capsule was previously added to the mobile SLS launch platform s year, then extended and withdrawn for functional tests. Credit: NASA / Kim Shiflett

The diesel-powered transporter will move the mobile launcher along the stone-covered caterpillar track originally built in the 1960s for the NASA's Saturn 5 moon rocket and then for 30 years during the space shuttle Program Used [19659003] NASA's Crawler Transporter Team has practiced the Crawlerway in recent weeks by relocating a Shuttle Era platform.

Bill Hill, Deputy NASA Administrator for Exploration Systems Development, said on Monday that the SLS platform is worth the trip. It is expected to start on Thursday noon, probably followed by a stopover somewhere on the crawlerway before the trip to Pad 39B ends on Friday. The launch of the mobile launcher on Pad 39B marked the second visit of the launch complex's structure at the end of 2011. But this visit still occurred with the platform in its Ares 1 configuration, and this week's journey will be the first time […] on the 39B with its full range of supply lines, plumbing and other necessary for the SLS equipment.

The platform is due to roll back towards the vehicle construction site around September 7, followed by a staff and media event. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…27&Itemid=47 The space transporter before the mobile pitcher rolls into the high bay 3 of the cavernous assembly building around the 8th of September, according to Hill.

This will be the first time the platform enters the VAB.

"We decided to go the pad first," Hill said Monday at a meeting of the NASA Advisory Board's Research and Operations Committee. "We're going to do fitness checks, and if we find something we need to fix while we're in the VAB, we'll have time to fix it."

Working in the park area of ​​the mobile carrier near the VAB, over the last year and a half, focused on lifting and attaching swivel arms and umbilical plugs. The attachments included the addition of the crew access arm, a vehicle stabilizer, refueling and venting lines for the SLS and Orion spacecraft, and two large stern service masts at the base of the platform to direct cryogenic propellants into the SLS core stage. [19659003] See NASA's factsheet on the umbilical arms of the mobile launcher.

At the beginning of the month, the mobile launch platform of the Space Launch System is outside the Vehicle Assembly Building with its complete swivel arms. Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

Once the mobile launch platform is installed in the VAB, employees begin a comprehensive, multi-month verification and validation campaign to ensure that the tower supports the stacking and lifting of the Space Launch System. According to a NASA spokesperson, the navel arms are swung as they move in the final minutes and seconds of a SLS countdown.

A swivel arm that can not be fully moved into the VAB high bay is the arm of the crew that astronauts will use to climb the Orion capsule that flies on the Space Launch System. Workers in the mobile launcher park area north of the VAB conducted a field trial of the crew arm in early February after installation on the 274-foot level of the tower in February.

Other test targets within the VAB are tests of the cellphone "Answers to questions from Spaceflight Now."

"In addition, final (mobile launcher) construction will be completed, which will include structural work," said the spokesman

Since the Space Shuttle retreat in 2011, NASA has owned High Bay 3 – one of four VAB Rocket mounting rails – equipped with new work platforms for the Space Launch System.

The Mobile Launch Vehicle Test Campaign The VAB should be completed by the third quarter of 2019, Hill said.

The platform will then go back to Pad 39B for more detailed testing before returning – the VAB to begin stacking the first space launch system

Cranes will first introduce the twin-five-segment The launch vehicle's solid rockets – manufactured by Northrop Grumman's Innovation Systems – pile up, followed by the sinking of the spacecraft's giant Boeing -built 27.4-foot diameter (8.4-meter) hydrogen-powered core stage between the solid-state engines. The main stage is powered by four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 main engines, uprated engines that are left over from the shuttle program.

Then the ground crews will carefully lower the second SLS stage, which originates from the upper tier of the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Rocket, across the core stage. Finally, the Orion capsule is added to the rocket, including the spacecraft's pointed launching engine.

NASA calls this special version of the rocket the "Block 1" configuration of the Space Launch System.

Artist & # 39; s concept of the Space Launch System in its "Block 1" configuration. Credit: NASA

The first SLS test flight, known as Exploration Mission-1, will transport an Orion spacecraft – with no crew – to a unique, unvisited perch on a remote retrograde orbit of approximately 40,000 miles (70,000 kilometers) from Send Moon

NASA plans to build a second SLS launch platform for an improved version of the rocket known as "Block 1B". The Block 1B rocket will use a more powerful upper stage with four Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engines, not an RL10 engine as used on the upper tier of the Block 1 version.

The space agency originally planned to increase the amount of existing mobile launcher for the larger upper stage of SLS Block 1B, which should be flying Mission-2 on the second SLS mission – Exploration. The modification would have taken almost three years to effectively ground the SLS.

But $ 350 million in funding approved by Congress earlier this year will give NASA the money needed to build a second mobile launcher specifically for the SLS Block 1B configuration. This will clear the current launch platform for EM-2, which NASA officials will be launching with astronauts on the EM-2 mission around 2022.

The EM-2 mission profile will lead astronauts on a wide trajectory side of the Moon and back to Earth on the first human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit since the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

But the current SLS Starting platform will still need some work between the EM-1 and EM-2 flights B. adding a crew escort system for astronauts to quickly evacuate the launch pad in case of a countdown emergency. The rescue system will be similar to the sliding wire baskets used during the Space Shuttle program, Hill said.

The crew access arm on the SLS launch platform also requires additional pneumatic and breathing equipment before manned missions.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .


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