back to article NASA delays SLS rollback due to concerns over rocky path to launchpad

NASA's Moon rocket is to trundle back into its shed today after a delay caused by concerns over the crawlerway. The massive transporter used to move the Space Launch System between Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and launchpad requires a level pathway and teams have been working on the inclined pathway leading to the launchpad …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    .. .it doesn't rock then?

    Come on, someone had to say it, it's Friday.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So..

      It also doesn't roll.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: So..

        You two have obviously never read Soul Music. Please correct this.

  2. John Robson Silver badge


    They could just land the rocket back on the launch... oh, sorry

  3. Joe W Silver badge


    Use one of those, or have the Harkonnens stolen it (again)?

  4. Garry Perez

    Thunderbird 1 never had this problem

  5. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    Doesn't quartz give off a small electrical current when squeezed? I wonder how much those rocks were generating when the Apollo or Shuttle vehicles were passing over.

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I'm SO surprised

    Actually, I'm lying.

  7. Oneman2Many

    Scavenging pad 39A

    Reached the stage where they are taking rock from the unused pad 39A for SLS on pad 39B. SpaceX who use pad 39A have stuck a building on the crawler way so won't be needing it.

    1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      Re: Scavenging pad 39A

      Spacex are also building a new launch tower for their Starship rocket, which may well launch before SLS and make that redundant.

      Hey ho.

      1. Denarius

        Re: Scavenging pad 39A

        If Starship catch tower works, it adds meaning to phrase, "Hang in there "

  8. Denarius

    making rocket tracks is so crushing ?

    Lets hope the maintenance crew are not stoned. Is the old stuff sent to nearby Pebble beach? Mines the one with the gravelly voiced MP3 playing

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: making rocket tracks is so crushing ?

      WIth that kind of jokes it ought to be a Sony Walkman..

      1. Denarius

        Re: making rocket tracks is so crushing ?

        Too fast. At the speed of the crawler, the launch site Zimmer's in the distance

  9. amacater

    That's one way to produce quartz crystals for RF gear ...

  10. Lars Silver badge

    It's late but what about all this turning around, didn't even the T-Ford have a reverse gear.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      If turning is such a problem, why didn't they build the VAB, tower and crawlerway in a straight line???

  11. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Others use tracks

    All over the world they use tracks. A few of them in parallel. Solves most issues, even when transporting not straight paths. Also solves the issue of vibration, which is why the crawler is really very slow. But not USA, they stick to their system, even if it is more expensive.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Others use tracks

      Tracks are associated with trains and trains are associated with communism. Also a monster truck!

  12. Binraider Silver badge

    It is remarkable that SpaceX can move a vehicle of comparable size (and much less complexity) without mangling it so thoroughly.

    Blue Origin have rolled mockups about but in the absence of hardware we don't know how they perform (yet).

    Perhaps there is something to this keep-it-simple architecture rather than the infinite failure modes of SLS and it's Space Shuttle forebear. You know, that other expensive space vehicle that was slated throughout it's entire existence for being over-complex and lacked exit plans for far too many failure conditions.

    Congress money lobbying and printing will continue over rational project selection for the time being.

  13. l8gravely

    They should replace the crawler's tracks with SPMT

    They should just replace the crawler's tracks with SPMTs in rows. Cheaper, faster, more capacity, infinitely expandable, etc. And off the shelf. Mammoet moves 10,000+ things all the time with these things. They're not rocket science any more.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: They should replace the crawler's tracks with SPMT

      Indeed, those SharePointMigrationTools have proven to be able to move 10000+ things.









      I know Self-Propelled Modular Transporter, but every time someone throws in an abbreviation expecting everyone to know which is the only right interpretation I cannot resist :P .

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