|MadSci Network: Astronomy|
Hello Steve's class,
After the rockets are moved into the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) the Space Shuttle is towed from the Orbiter Processing Facility into the VAB. This is one of the largest buildings in the world. It measures 525 feel tall, 715 feet long and 518 feet high. There are more than 70 lifting devices in this building, including two 250-ton bridge cranes.
These large cranes and the other lifting devices are used to first hoist the two solid fuel booster rockets to the vertical position on the mobile launcher platform. Next, the liquid fuel tank is hoisted to the vertical position. Finally, the space shuttle is hoisted to the vertical position by these lifting devices and attached. After everything is tested and ready, the mobile launch platform moves the assembled shuttle and its rockets to the launch site.
John Haberman, Space Scientist
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
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