Feeds

NASA's Ares V may crush Kennedy crawlerway

Heavy lifter too heavy for road to the stars?

Top three mobile application threats

The budget for NASA's Constellation programme - comprising the Orion and Ares vehicles - looks like it may have run to a few billion cubic metres of road surfacing after the agency admitted the Kennedy Space Center crawlerway over which spacecraft are trundled to their launchpads could collapse under the weight of the Ares V heavy lifter.

According to Flight Global, the 40-year-old crawlerway comprises at its thickest point "200mm of river gravel that is on top of 900mm of compacted limerock, which is in turn on top of two layers of 'select fill' that is up to 1.1m deep in total".

While this is more than adequate to support the crawler-transporter, mobile launcher and Space Shuttle, weighing in at 7.7 million kg (16.9 million lb), or indeed a Volvo S70 loaded with a full crew of 13, it could feel the pressure once the 10.9m kg Ares V hits the road.

A Constellation "vertical integration element risk assessment" admits: "Given the projected weight of the Ares V vehicle, mobile launcher and transporter, the total weight is about 33 per cent higher than the crawlerway has ever supported. There is a possibility that the crawlerway could fail to support the load, resulting in severe impacts to the Constellation programme."

Since NASA administrator Michael Griffin in July said that budgetary constraints on the Constellation programme mean the agency doesn't have enough cash to "tear down all our buildings and build new ones to fit a new architecture", it has decided to deploy a "mitigation plan" designed to "collate data and analysis to establish 'confidence levels' on the effects of loading [the crawlerway] beyond 8.1m kg and perform loading tests". ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.