NASA Crawler Transporter 2 – Guinness World Record Holder
Do you remember the Saturn V rocket that carried humanity to the moon for the Apollo mission around 60 years ago? For launching that rocket to space, NASA Crawler Transporter 2 was utilized at that time.
That massive rocket transporter is back with much-needed upgrading to support the Artemis SLS rocket and break world records.
On 29 March, the Guinness World Records issued the NASA team at the Kennedy Space Center with a certificate of conforming that Crawler Transporter 2 is the first-ever heaviest self-powered vehicle in the world with 6.65 million pounds (3 million kg) weight.
In 1965 the Crawler Transporter 1 and 2 were launched together, and their pair was nicknamed Hans and Franz, the two bodybuilder characters of the show.
But the Franz gained popularity and got the world’s attention during the Artemis I mission, an uncrewed lunar orbital mission.
In 2012 after 50 years, the Crawler Transporter 2 underwent a significant renovation to handle NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. It increased from a heavily constructed 5.95 million pounds to a record-breaking heaviest vehicle weighing 6.65 million pounds.
Due to its heavy weight, the Crawler took 8 to 12 hours to travel 4.2 miles (6.7 km) from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad at a steady speed of one mile per hour.
According to NASA, the Crawler is currently being prepared for Artemis 2, scheduled for November 2024, with new shoes/tracks on which the Crawler rolls with corrosion control.