Mobile Launch Platforms (MLP)

The three Mobile Launchers used in Apollo/Saturn operations were modified for use in Shuttle operations. With cranes, umbilical towers, and swing arms removed, the Mobile Launchers were redesignated Mobile Launcher Platforms (MLP). In place of one large opening in the platform, three smaller openings accommodate flames and hot exhaust gases from the solid rocket boosters and the orbiter engines. Segments of the dismantled umbilical towers are part of the perment installation at the launch pad, where they serve as sections of the Fixed Service Structure (FSS). A third apollo umbilical tower, removed from MLP-3, has been cut into 20 ft sections and placed in a field in the KSC industrial area. It may someday become reconstructed as part of the KSC tour route.

Tail Service Masts (TSM's), one on each side of the main engines exhausts hole provide umbilical connections for fuel and oxidizer, gases, ground electrical power and communications links. These Masts are 4.6m (15ft) long, 2.7m (9ft) wide and 9.4m (31 ft) high.

MLP Statistics

Positioned on 6 steel pedestals 7m (22ft) high when in the VAB or at the launch pad. At the pad, 4 extensible columns were used during the Apollo program were used to stiffen the MLP against rebound loads, should engine cutoff occur. They are no longer used for the Shuttle program.

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