A project aimed a ensuring Kennedy Space Center's historic crawlerway will be able to support heavy-lift rockets won an award this week from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Topped by river rock, the 130-foot-wide roadway stretches between the KSC Vehicle Assembly Building and launch pads 39A and 39B. Originally built for the Apollo moon-landing project, the crawlerway also was heavily travelled during the 30-year NASA space shuttle program.
With the shuttle program winding to an end, NASA in 2009 put together a team to evaluate the crawlerway and determine whether it will be able to support the weight of a heavy-lift launch vehicle the agency is developing for missions beyond Earth orbit. Potential commercial use of the crawlerway also was evaluated.
The two-year evaluation confirmed the crawlerway could do the job in either case.
"Putting all of the different entities together has resulted in an outstanding product that the center and the program can stand firmly on," NASA Project Manager Justin Junod said in a statement.
The award honors the team's outstanding engineering efforts in research, design, construction and management, recognizing the complexity of multi-agency coordination and cost-effective engineering advances.
ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the NASA image shuttle Discovery making its way over the KSC crawlerway to launch pad 39A for the STS-128 mission in lat 2009. Photo Credit: Gary Rothstein, EPA.