The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

NASA Visit Part 2

  This is a continuation of my NASA visit that I started back a week ago.  We took a shuttle bus around the complex and saw a few neat things....like the assembly building
    This was used to build the Apollo Saturn V rocket and then the Space shuttle.  There was a Space X rocket inside getting ready for a launch to the ISS in orbit.   While we were driving around, we also saw one of the crawlers used to move a rocket 1 mile an hour from the assembly building to the launch pad.
The crawler is controlled from two control cabs located at either end of the vehicle, and travels along the 5.6 km (3.5 mi) crawlerway at a maximum speed of 1.6 km/h (1 mph) loaded, or 3.2 km/h (2 mph) unloaded. The average trip time from the VAB along the Crawlerway to Launch Complex 39 is about five hours.Each crawlerway is 2 m (7 ft) deep and covered with Alabama and Tennessee river rock for its low friction properties to reduce the possibility of sparks. In 2000, NASA unearthed and restored an Apollo-era segment of the crawlerway to provide access to a high-bay building in order to provide protection from a hurricane.
Kennedy Space Center has been using the same two crawlers, nicknamed "Hans" and "Franz",since their initial delivery in 1965. In their lifetime, they have traveled more than 5,500 km (3,400 mi), about the same driving distance as from Miami to Seattle.

The crawlers were overhauled in 2003 with upgrades to the Motor Control Center, which houses the switchgear and electrical controls of all of major systems on board, a new engine and pump ventilation system and new diesel engine radiators, and replacement of the two driver cabs on each vehicle (one on each end). As of 2003, each crawler had 16 traction motors, powered by four 1,000 kW (1,341 hp) generators, in turn driven by two 2,050 kW (2,750 hp) V16 ALCO 251C diesel engines. Two 750 kW (1,006 hp) generators, driven by two 794 kW (1,065 hp) engines, were used for jacking, steering, lighting, and ventilating. Two 150 kW (201 hp) generators were also available to power the Mobile Launcher Platform. The crawler's tanks held 19,000 liters (5,000 U.S. gal) of diesel fuel, and it burned 296 liters per kilometer (125.7 U.S. gal/mi). Due to its age and the need to support the heavier Space Launch System and its launch tower, in mid-2012 one of the crawlers was undergoing an upgrade involving "new engines, new exhausts, new brakes, new hydraulics, new computers," to increase its lifting capacity from 5,400,000 to 8,200,000 kg (12,000,000 to 18,000,000 lb).

* The overall length and width of the Crawler is 131 by 113 feet.
* The Crawler burns a gallon of diesel every 42 feet, or gets about 0.008 mpg.
* The water pump is a 75hp electric motor, and the cooling system holds 500 gallons.
* The Crawler has six mufflers, the heaviest coming in at more than 3,000 pounds.
* Two eight-cylinder White-Superior 1,065hp motors are used just for electric and hydraulic power.
* For power, the Crawler uses two 2,750hp, 16-cylinder Alco diesel engines to power sixteen 375hp electric motors.
* Just the Crawler itself, without the Shuttle, is still three stories high.
* Each track (or shoe) on the Crawler weighs 2,200 pounds-and there are 456 of them.
* The Crawler's fuel tank will hold 5,000 gallons, giving it a range of about 40 miles.
* The Crawler is wide enough to take up an entire four-lane freeway-all lanes in both directions.
* The instruction manual on how to start and warm up the Crawler is 39 pages.
* Although there are up to 30 people monitoring various systems, the Crawler can actually be driven by just one person.
* There is a speedometer on the Crawler-from 0-2 mph.
* From the vertical assembly building to the launch platform is a little more than 4 miles. The Crawler can make it in about a day.
* The Crawler's drive system (think rear axle ratio) has a gear ratio of 168:1.
* The Crawler has to tilt the 12-million-pound shuttle and platform at up to 5 degrees to keep it perfectly level on the way to the platform.
* A Crawler can move the slightest distance (for example, only 1/8-inch) if it needs to.
* Both Crawlers, combined, have traveled thousands of miles since being built.

The bus also took us to the Saturn V building, where they had a Saturn V rocket laid down on a platform, kinda like we saw in Huntsville a few years ago. 
   We also saw the origional camper that they used for the Apollo Astronauts to the platform.
  I also took another pic of the First Stage rocket...
    We saw a lot of artifacts, including "Snoopy"
Snoopy was used as a mascot for the space program, he also was used to award people in NASA for doing exemplary things.  Charles M Schultz was happy to have NASA use snoopy on the sole condition that "He" would draw him and nobody else.  And with no royalties involved.
     We also saw the Apollo 11 symbol,
They had all the Apollo Missions patches shown,  My phone by this time was giving me the "Bong of Death".  so I could only take a few more pictures.
     They had set up the mission control room as it looked back in 1968, and it was real neat!
They played the launch sequence from 12:00 out until launch and they would light up the stations as the sequence played out for the launch.
And of course the media had access to the control room during the launch..
  I enjoyed the visit immensely and would like to go back, the picture above was the last picture my phone took before it ran out of power.  They had moon rock exhibits, a food court, slightly overpriced but it was what it was.  My inner geek was very happy.  I want to spend an entire day just in the Saturn building and really look at everything. 

   I really wanted this....would have fit in with my other Haynes Manuals

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mr. G.,
    Interestingly, the Shuttle "Endeavour" was built entirely from "Spare Parts!!!" Don't ya' know!!! I've worked for a few very large "Airplane making Companies" and it's just the way it is.
    BTW I was working for Irvin Aerospace when we got the contract to design and build the "Drag Chute" which was first put on Endeavour then all the rest were retrofitted. 'Just happened to be one of the Parachute Riggers on the program and that first "red, white and Blue" Drag chute on Endeavour was "My Pack Job!!!!"
    Blue skies,
    PS 'would love to see that Haynes Manual!!!!!