Bechtel has announced the completion of the jacking and setting process for Mobile Launcher 2 at Kennedy Space Center.

This achievement is a critical step in the process to design, build, and commission NASA’s new mobile launcher.

The milestone was accomplished through collaboration with NASA’s crawler-transporter team – a one of a kind vehicle used to transport hardware critical to the Artemis campaign around Kennedy.

“This is an incredible achievement,” said Mike Costas, Bechtel’s General Manager of Defense and Space.

“Lifting a 2.6-million-pound launcher base more than 20 feet into the air, moving it nearly the length of a football field, and then setting it down safely at a height of 25 feet, requires both great skill and careful planning. I am proud of the dedication, innovation, and collaboration of our combined Bechtel-NASA team in accomplishing that.”

Establishing safety as a top priority, Bechtel and NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems teams worked to address and reduce potential risks to the craft professional team by planning for the base’s primary steel to be assembled at a lower height.

The collaboration resulted in a creative and efficient method for later raising the base’s primary steel assembly to its full height using NASA’s crawler. With the base at operating height, the work now transitions to installing critical electrical equipment and piping in preparation for erecting the mobile launcher tower, which is scheduled to begin in late 2024.

To perform Jack and Set, the project team assembled and aligned the 43 primary steel assemblies comprising the mobile launcher base. Four Self-propelled Motor Transporters then raised the base to allow for the temporary mount mechanisms to be removed and eight jacks to be set.

The jacks raised the base 18 feet allowing the crawler-transporter crew to drive underneath the mobile launcher base, carry it roughly 200 feet, and then lower the base pins into the permanent mount mechanisms. The Jack and Set process took one week of careful coordination to execute.

“The safety of our craft professional team has been the primary focus of Bechtel and NASA throughout the assembly of the base,” said Paul Podolak, Mobile Launcher 2 Project Manager.

“I am grateful for the dedicated work of our team to design the base, procure critical materials, and assemble it safely. We are fully committed to delivering this key component for the Artemis campaign.”

Mobile Launcher 2 will support the Artemis IV mission and beyond, once the larger and more intense Space Launch System (SLS) Block 1B rocket is used to begin delivering large cargo to the Moon, including to the lunar Gateway, along with crew.

Reaching a height of 390 feet, Mobile Launcher 2 will be taller and wider than mobile launcher 1. This launch platform will implement a new umbilical arm during rocket transport and launch.

This second iteration will continue to apply lessons learned from the Artemis I launch. The second mobile launcher will be designed, built, and commissioned by Bechtel.
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