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NASA space shuttle transporter

NASA Space Shuttle moved by 2700-ton Crawler Transporter

Jeremy Clarkson is always looking for more power and you’re not going to get much more power than this beast of a machine. What you’re looking at here is the Crawler Transporter from NASA and it is used to transport such useful bits as the $1.7 billion Space Shuttle. That said, it tops out at two miles per hour unloaded. Plop the Space Shuttle on there and you’re blazing along at one mile an hour.

So, what kind of power do we need to move the space shuttle at about 1/3 of the average person’s walking pace? Well, you see those tank-like treads on each of the corners? A pair of 2,750hp diesel engines power a single 1000kw generator, which in turn powers just one of the vehicle’s traction motors. You need four of those. On top of that, you’ve also got a couple of 750kw generators, powered by dual 1,065hp diesel engines, to give the machine power for lighting, accessories, and the self-leveling deck. All said and done, you’re looking at 24,000+ horsepower.

During the journey, the Crawler Transporter moves the Space Shuttle about three and a half miles, transporting it from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the Launch Pad. And in that trip, it burns through 437 gallons of diesel fuel. FYI, the Crawler Transporters are nicknamed Hans and Franz. They’re here to pump… you up!

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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