Mobile Launcher for NASA’s SLS Moon/Mars MegaRocket Starts Return Trip from Pad 39B to VAB: Photos

The Mobile Launcher (ML) for the NASA’s SLS heavy lift
megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule moves off Launch Complex 39B
enroute to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept. 7, 2018 at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida.  The ML and trio of
lightning towers reflect beautifully in the waters of the Merritt Island National
Wildlife refuge.
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     7 September 2018


KENNEDY SPACE
CENTER, FL –  The Mobile Launcher (ML) which
will be used to transport NASA’s mammoth Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket out
to the launch pad, has begun its return trip from Launch Complex 39B – departing
today, Sept. 7 for the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida.



The 380 foot tall
ML rolled off and left pad 39B around noon Friday and reached the outskirts of
the VAB by late afternoon. 



NASA’s
crawler-transporter 2 (CT-2) is positioned beneath the ML and used to slowly move
it between the pad and the VAB.



Check
out our exclusive Space UpClose photos from today’s move.
The Mobile Launcher (ML) for the NASA’s SLS heavy lift
megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule moves off Launch Complex 39B
enroute to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept. 7, 2018 at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida.  The ML and trio
of lightning towers reflect beautifully in the waters of the Merritt Island National
Wildlife refuge.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
NASA
plans to move the ML/CT-2 stack inside the VAB Saturday morning, Sept. 8.

Watch
for our detailed story to follow.  

The Mobile Launcher (ML) for the NASA’s SLS heavy lift
megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule stands at the center of Launch
Complex 39B prior to rolling off for move to the Vehicle Assembly Building
(VAB) on Sept. 7, 2018 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


The
ML trekked out to pad 39B on August 31 for the first time in several years. 

The Mobile Launcher (ML) for the NASA’s SLS heavy lift
megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule moves off Launch Complex 39B
enroute to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept. 7, 2018 at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

It
was a test run by the Ground systems and launch teams to check out and
calibrate systems ahead of its first use with an actual SLS rocket standing
vertical atop.
The Mobile Launcher (ML) for
the NASA’s SLS heavy lift megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule moves
off Launch Complex 39B enroute to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept.
7, 2018 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The ML is equipped with the crew access arm and
several umbilicals that will provide power, environmental control, pneumatics,
communication and electrical connections to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS)
and Orion spacecraft, according to NASA officials.  

The Mobile Launcher (ML) for
the NASA’s SLS heavy lift megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule moves
off Launch Complex 39B enroute to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept.
7, 2018 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Exploration Ground Systems is preparing the
ground systems necessary to launch SLS and the Orion deep space crew capsule on
Exploration
Mission-1
by 2020, and human journeys missions to the Moon and on to
Mars thereafter starting with Exploration Mission-2 about 2 years later.



Pad
39B was previously used to launch NASA’s Apollo/Saturn V Moon rockets and Space
Shuttles since the 1960s.

The Mobile Launcher (ML) for the NASA’s SLS heavy lift
megarocket and Orion deep space crew capsule moves off Launch Complex 39B
enroute to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept. 7, 2018 at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida.  The ML and trio
of lightning towers reflect beautifully in the waters of the Merritt Island National
Wildlife refuge.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.



Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

………….


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Merah Putih & Telstar 18 & 19 launches, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-15 launch
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NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s
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Launches, SpaceX Dragon CRS-15 resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon Heavy
& Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX SES-12 comsat. ULA Atlas USAF SBIRS GEO 4
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Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy Space Center Quality
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Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com








Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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