What Is Crawler – The Rocket Transporter? How Does It Work?

What are those huge things that we see on Youtube and TV channels that transport Giant Rockets and Spaceships?
For starters, They are called Crawler and they are just two in number, to top it all they have been in service for the past 50 years.


Crawler Transporting Rocket

Crawlers are unique transport vehicle which can boast of being the largest weight carrying transport vehicle of the world. They were made for NASA, And NASA loves it so much that they have been using it for Half a decade.


Some history on this:

Firstly they are two in the number called Crawler-transporter 1 and Crawler-transporter 2 or (CT 1 and CT 2). NASA’s  GSDO (Ground Systems Development and Operations) department is still modifying and maintaining them. The main components of these massive and one of a kind vehicles were built by the Marion Shovel Company in OHIO. They had shipped the components to Kennedy Space Center where they were assembled. This happened in 1964 and the crawlers started their service in 1965 to aid the ambitious Apollo program of NASA, however, the real test for them came in Aug 1967 when they transported the super heavy Saturn range of rockets.

Also Read: Since Fire Needs Oxygen To Burn, How Do Rockets Work In Space?

Now coming to the beauty of this mammoth machine. The crawlers are huge, In fact, 40 X 35 meters to be exact and weight a massive 2721000 kgs. The height from ground level can be adjusted from 6.1 to 7.9 meters approx. and this can be done independently from both the sides.


The crawler is a tracked vehicle which means its wheels are enclosed in a track like a tank which gives it more inline stability and integrity. They run on a specific path and have a laden top speed of 1 mile per hour and unladen speed of 2 miles per hour.

How does it Work?

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