Project Highlight

Mobile Launch Platform #2 Demolition

NASA KSC MLP

CLIENT: NASA

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Mobile Launcher Platform 2 or MLP-2, formerly Mobile Launcher 2 or ML-2 is one of three Mobile Launcher Platforms used at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was used for Saturn V and Saturn INT-21 launches and was subsequently used by the Space Shuttle. MLP-2 was originally constructed in 1964 as a Mobile Launcher for the Saturn V rocket. Following the launch of Skylab, ML-2 was the second of the Mobile Launchers to be converted for use by the Space Shuttle and the platform was redesignated MLP-2. In total, MLP-2 was used for four Apollo mission, the Skylab mission, and 44 Shuttle launches. All the Shuttles, except Columbia, made their maiden flights from MLP-2. It also was the launch site for the ill-fated STS-51L mission when Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after launch.

To make room for the new Artemis mission launch pads, NASA selected Advon to demolish MLP-2. The MLP-2 is unable to support the weight of the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built and the cornerstone of the Artemis Program. The Artemis Program is NASA’s next mission to the Moon and beyond.

With the MLP-2 decommissioned in 2019, Advon was hired to design the deconstruction of the MLP-2 and is presently demolishing it with the following activities:

  • Preparing the demolition site.
  • Preparing MLP-2 for offloading from the Crawler Transporter (CT).
  • Lowering MLP-2 onto a support structure/lifting the MLP off the CT.
  • Safely supporting MLP-2 at the height for removal of CT from underneath it.
  • Performing abatement and remediation on and within MLP-2.
  • Deconstructing MLP-2.
  • Transporting the waste and scrap to disposal and recycling locations.
  • Site cleanup.
  • Coordination and preparation of work plans and contract submittals.

In April 2021, the SLS was offloaded into the KSC Vehicle Assembly building after arriving via the Pegasus barge from Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Artemis I, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to orbit around the Moon and back to Earth, is expected to launch from KSC in November 2021. The mission is intended to provide the data NASA needs to certify safety for crewed flights. With Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon and establish sustainable exploration in preparation for missions to Mars.

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