Sunday, April 30, 2006
Mobile Launch Platform (MLP)
The purpose of the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) is to move the fully assembled Space Shuttle to the launch pad for flight. It weighs about 6 million pounds and the speedometer only goes from 0 to 2 mph. It usually takes about 5 hours for the trip from the Vehicle Assemble Building (VAB) to the launch pad (3 1/2 miles!!!!). I couldn't get a picture of it on friday, but what I wanted to show here was the rock path to the side of the VAB. Since the MLP weighs so much, "rock paths" are laid out so the MLP doesn't crush the ground cement. You can sort of see in the picture the whole rocks and then the finely crushed-rock footprints the crawler transporter left behind.