Mobile Launcher Platform 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Space Shuttle Discovery rolls out of the VAB atop MLP-2, ahead of STS-120

Mobile Launcher Platform 2 or MLP-2, formerly Mobile Launcher 2 or ML-2 is one of three Mobile Launcher Platforms used at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was used for Saturn V and Saturn INT-21 launches, and was subsequently used by the Space Shuttle.

Saturn[edit]

Launch of Skylab from ML-2 at LC-39A

MLP-2 was originally constructed in 1964 as a Mobile Launcher for the Saturn V rocket, and was designated ML-2, or LUT-2. It was built by Ingalls Iron Works.[1] The swing arms, which were constructed by Hayes International were added at a later date.

Following completion, ML-2 was used for the unmanned Apollo 6 mission, followed by three manned Apollo launches; Apollo 9, Apollo 12 and Apollo 14. It was subsequently used for the launch of Skylab on a Saturn INT-21 in 1973.

Space Shuttle[edit]

Following the launch of Skylab, ML-2 was the second of the Mobile Launchers to be converted for use by the Space Shuttle. The Launch Umbilical Tower was dismantled and placed into storage, and the base of the launch platform was modified to accommodate the locations of engines on the Shuttle. The platform was redesignated MLP-2.

In total, MLP-2 has been used for forty four Shuttle launches, starting in 1983. All of the orbiters except Columbia made their maiden flights from MLP-2. It was also the launch site for the ill-fated STS-51L mission, when Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after launch, killing all seven crew.

Launch history[edit]

Date/Time (GMT) Rocket Mission Remarks
4 April 1968, 12:00 Saturn V SA-502 Apollo 6 Unmanned test flight
3 March 1969, 16:00 Saturn V SA-504 Apollo 9 Manned test flight
14 November 1969, 16:22 Saturn V SA-507 Apollo 12 Manned lunar landing
31 January 1971, 21:03 Saturn V SA-509 Apollo 14 Manned lunar landing
14 May 1973, 17:30 Saturn INT-21 SA-513 Skylab Space station
4 April 1983, 18:30:00 Space Shuttle Challenger STS-6 TDRS deployment, maiden flight of Challenger
August 30, 1983, 06:32:00 Space Shuttle Challenger STS-8
February 3, 1984, 13:00:00 Space Shuttle Challenger STS-41B
30 August 1984, 12:41:50 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-41D Maiden flight of Discovery
November 8, 1984, 12:15:00 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-51A
April 29, 1985, 16:02:18 Space Shuttle Challenger STS-51B
July 29, 1985, 21:00:00 Space Shuttle Challenger STS-51F
3 October 1985, 15:15:30 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-51J Maiden flight of Atlantis
27 November 1985, 00:29:00 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-61B
January 28, 1986, 16:38:00 Space Shuttle Challenger STS-51L Disintegrated during ascent to orbit
29 September 1988, 15:37:00 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-26
13 March 1989, 14:57:00 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-29
8 August 1989, 12:37:00 Space Shuttle Columbia STS-28
23 November 1989, 00:23:30 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-33
24 April 1990, 12:33:51 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-31
6 October 1990, 11:47:15 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-41
28 April 1991, 11:33:14 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-39
7 May 1992, 23:40:00 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-49 Maiden flight of Endeavour
12 September 1992, 14:23:00.0680 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-47
13 January 1993, 13:59:30 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-54
21 June 1993, 13:07 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-57
2 December 1993, 09:27:00 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-61
9 April 1994, 11:05 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-59
9 September 1994, 22:22:35 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-64
3 February 1995, 05:22:04 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63
13 July 1995, 13:41:55.078 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-70
12 November 1995, 12:30:43.071 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-74
22 March 1996, 08:13:04 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-76
12 January 1997, 09:27:23 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-81
15 May 1997, 09:07:48.62 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-84
26 September 1997, 02:34:19 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-86
17 April 1998 18:19 Space Shuttle Columbia STS-90
29 October 1998, 19:19:34 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-95
27 May 1999, 10:49:42 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-96
20 December 1999 00:50:00 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-103
8 September 2000, 12:45:47 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-106
7 February 2001, 23:13 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-98
12 July 2001, 09:04 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-104
1 March 2002 11:22:02 Space Shuttle Columbia STS-109
23 November 2002, 00:49:47 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-113
9 September 2006, 15:14:55 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-115
8 June 2007, 23:38:04 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-117
23 October 2007, 15:38:19 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-120
11 March 2008, 06:28:14 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-123
11 May 2009, 18:01:56 Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-125 Hubble servicing mission
16 May 2011, 12:56:28 Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134

References[edit]

  1. ^ Benson, Charles D; Faherty, William B. "The Swing-Arm Controversy". Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations. NASA History Office. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Saturn V". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "STS". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-03-26.