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VAB Aerial - GPN-2000-000869 (cropped).jpg
Aerial view of Launch Complex 39. The Crawlerway is the pathway between the Vehicle Assembly Building and Pads 39A and 39B.
Crawlerway is located in Florida
Crawlerway is located in the US
LocationBrevard County, Florida  United States
Nearest cityMerritt Island
Coordinates28°36′13″N 80°37′39″W / 28.60361°N 80.62750°W / 28.60361; -80.62750Coordinates: 28°36′13″N 80°37′39″W / 28.60361°N 80.62750°W / 28.60361; -80.62750
MPSJohn F. Kennedy Space Center MPS
NRHP reference #99001641[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 21, 2000

The Crawlerway is a 130-foot (40 m) wide[2] double pathway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It runs between the Vehicle Assembly Building and the two launch pads at Launch Complex 39. It has a length of 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to Pad 39A and 4.2 miles (6.8 km) to Pad 39B. A seven-foot (2 m) bed of stones lies beneath a layer of asphalt and a surface made of Tennessee river rocks.

The Crawlerway was designed to support the weight of a Saturn V rocket and payload, plus its Launch Umbilical Tower and Mobile Launcher Platform, atop a Crawler-transporter during the Apollo Program. It was used from 1981–2011 to transport the lighter Space Shuttles to their launch pads.

Construction of the Crawlerway connected Merritt Island with the mainland, forming a peninsula. The main vehicle access road to and from the launch pads, the Saturn Causeway, runs alongside the crawlerway.


The crawlerway is composed of two 40 feet (12 m) wide lanes, separated by a 50 feet (15 m) median. The top layer is Tennessee river gravel, 4 inches thick on the straight sections and 8 inches thick on curves. Tennessee river rock was chosen for its anti-spark properties. Beneath that is 4 feet of graded, crushed stone, resting on two layers of fill.[2] As of 2013 a project to repair and upgrade the crawlerway is in process, the first time since it was constructed that the foundation will be repaired. Additional rock was added to the surface in June 2014.[3]



  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b "NASA Facts Online, John F. Kennedy Space Center". Archived from the original on 9 January 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Upgrades Will Prepare Crawlerway for Space Launch System". 2013-02-22. Retrieved 13 December 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Crawlerway at Wikimedia Commons