NASA awards contract to modify Ares V mobile launcher for SLS

by | May 31, 2013 | Seradata News, SLS | 0 comments

The Mobile Launcher (ML) which had been built provide services to the planned Ares V launch vehicle of Project Constellation will not go to waste despite the cancellation of that programme.  It will now be used to carry the heavy lift SLS (Space Launch System) to its launch pad (39B) at the Kennedy Sapce Center.  

During May, NASA has awarded a contract to J.P. Donovan Construction Inc. to modify the ML, which is one of the key elements of ground support equipment, to carry the SLS rocket for its first mission in 2017. The work under the firm fixed-price contact is expected to be completed within 18 months. 

The conversion work includes widening the exhaust space in the mobile launcher base to support two solid rocket boosters and four main engines for the initial versions of the SLS.  To increase its utilisation, the tower upgrades also include movable umbilical fuel lines (including crygoenic systems)  which allow the support of a variety of other launch vehicles in addition to SLS.  The flight test of SLS in 2017 will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Tianwen 1 mission’s Zhurong-1 Mars rover may have expired in its sleep

SpaceNews reports (quoting the South China Morning Post) that the Zhurong 1 Mars rover as part of the Tianwen 1 Read more

Tom Cruise may have saved cinema industry with Top Gun-Maverick but he has even higher movie plans with space station studio module now ordered

While action film actor Tom Cruise has his detractors, you cannot say he is not successful. Recently starring in the Read more

China deploys 14 satellites on Long March-2D rocket

The Chinese sent 14 new satellites into orbit on a Long March-2D/2 (CZ-2D/2) rocket at 0314 GMT on 15 January. Read more

Falcon Heavy launches USSF-67 two satellite payload on way to GEO with its two boosters landed for future launches (Corrected)

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy Block 5 (px) rocket successfully lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA at 2256 GMT Read more

Events on International Space Station: Dragon CRS-26 departs as do some cubesats

Events on the International Space Station have been more muted after the excitement of the Soyuz MS-22 coolant leak. On Read more

Long March 2D launches Yaogan-37 remote sensing sat plus Shiyan-22A &-22B technology test types – this time logged on right launch

A Long March 2D (CZ-2D) rocket lifted off from Jiuquan at 0700 GMT on 13 January 2023. Aboard were three Read more

Long March 2C launches small GEO comsat APSTAR 6E HTS using a “Kick Stage”

China's Long March 2C/3 (CZ-2C/3) rocket has been modified with a additional kick stage attached to the satellite to launch Read more

Soyuz MS-23 to replace leak-damaged Soyuz MS-22 for crew return

Following a radiator leak on 15 December, Roscosmos, in agreement with NASA and other International Space Station (ISS) partners, have Read more