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.
Launch Platform: Two-Story steel structure, 7.6 meters (25ft) high, 49 Meters (160ft) long and 41 meters (135ft)wide.
- Empty Weight: 4.19 million kg (9.25 million lb)
- With unfueled Shuttle: 5.45 million kg (12.02 million lb)
- With fueled Shuttle: 6.22 million kg (13.72 million lb)
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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