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Crawler Transporter Completes Critical Testing After Phase One of 20-Year Life Extension
February 7, 2013
Spaceshuttle Crawler platform

HIGHLIGHT: Crawler Transporter completed critical testing after Phase 1 of 20-Year life extension project modifications.

BACKGROUND: Ames Code RE has been working for KSC on Crawler-Transporter load analyses and designs over the past six years. We were tasked to analyze the Crawler and determine which systems needed upgrades to be able to carry the new Space Launch System (SLS), which was the Ares V, when we started our analysis work. The modified crawler is required to be able to lift 18 Million pounds, which is the maximum weight of the new SLS vehicle and mobile launcher. This work has culminated in the 20-Year Life Extension Project, which will fabricate and install five different uprated designs that RE has developed, as well as install many smaller upgrades designed by the operators of the CT, United Space Alliance (USA).

The new Ames designs include:

  1. Redesign and replacement of the redundant brake systems
  2. Design of the stiffening of the truck shear webs for the higher lifted load
  3. Replacement of two 750kW AC power generators with 1,500kW units inside the Crawler and modification of the Crawler's electrical distribution system
  4. Replacement of the Jacking, Equalizing and Leveling (JEL) Hydraulic Cylinders
  5. Redesign and replacement of the Traction Roller Assemblies (TRA) which support the crawler tracks


The replacement brakes (1), the shear web modifications (2) and the installation of the new AC generators and modifications to the Crawler's electrical distribution system (3) have all been completed to date. The JEL cylinder fabrication and replacement (4) and the TRA fabrication and replacement (5) will take place over the next three to four years and Code RE will continue to support this work.

PROGRAM FUNDING: The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program at Kennedy Space Center (KSC)

ARC POC: david.a.howe@nasa.gov

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