NASA manned space shuttle missions may be over but the agency still has many projects in the works, including launches of satellites and other spacecraft used for communication, scientific research, and more. For that reason NASA is overhauling one of their crawler-transporters, or CTs. This week NASA took one the CT for a test drive after phase one work was finished.
"It's like having a 'car' that is almost 50 years old," said Mary Hanna, CT project manager in the Vehicle Integration and Launch Branch of NASA Ground Systems Development and Operations. "We're going to need this special vehicle for many years to come, so it was time for a tune up."
The CTs were built in the 1960s and were first used to transport rockets from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to NASA's ocean-side launch pads. The CTs cover an area larger than a professional baseball infield. They creep along at a maximum speed of one mile per hour when loaded with a rocket and spacecraft ready for launch.