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Saturday, March 9, 2013

The newly-upgraded crawler-transporter 2 (CT-2) passes by the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on its way to the Park Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 11, 2013.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

Paving The Way (Literally) for the Future... Over the last several months, work has been conducted to upgrade the crawlerway that the Space Launch System (SLS) and even commercial rockets will use to reach their pads at Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) Launch Complex (LC)-39. The photo above shows the newly-modified crawler-transporter that will be used to send the SLS to LC-39B (which has been dormant since late 2009), while the images below show the crawlerway itself being regraded to support the massive weight of NASA's new heavy-lift rocket (which will be as tall as 400 feet in its later incarnation). Although this effort to modernize Spaceport U.S.A. won't truly pay off till 2017—when the SLS is rolled out to LC-39B to embark on Exploration Mission 1—it's nice to know that KSC is preparing for the day that it resumes launching astronauts from American soil by the end of this decade.

A water tanker wets the crawlerway in front of CT-2 as it heads to the Park Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 11, 2013.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

CT-2 prepares to receive upgrades at the Park Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on November 21, 2012.
NASA / Frankie Martin

With the VAB in the background, a worker regrades a section of the crawlerway leading up to Launch Complex (LC)-39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida...on February 19, 2013.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

With LC-39B in the distance, a worker regrades a section of the crawlerway leading up to the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida...on February 19, 2013.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

A worker regrades a section of the crawlerway near LC-39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on January 31, 2013.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

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