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Mobile Launcher Platform 2 or MLP-2, formerly Mobile Launcher 2 or ML-2 is one of three Mobile Launcher Platforms used at Kennedy Space Centermarker Launch Complex 39marker. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was used for Saturn V and Saturn INT-21 launches, and it is now used by the Space Shuttle.

Saturn

MLP-2 was originally constructed in 1964 as a Mobile Launcher for the Saturn V rocket, and was designated ML-2, or LUT-2. It was built by Ingalls Iron Works. The swing arms, which were constructed by Hayes International were added at a later date.

Following completion, ML-2 was used for the unmanned Apollo 6 mission, followed by three manned Apollo launches; Apollo 9, Apollo 12 and Apollo 14. It was subsequently used for the launch of Skylab on a Saturn INT-21 in 1973.

Space Shuttle

Following the launch of Skylab, ML-2 was the second of the Mobile Launchers to be converted for use by the Space Shuttle. The Launch Umbilical Tower was dismantled and placed into storage, and the base of the launch platform was modified to accommodate the locations of engines on the Shuttle. The platform was redesignated MLP-2.

In total, MLP-2 has been used for forty four Shuttle launches, starting in 1983. All of the orbiters except made their maiden flights from MLP-2. It was also the launch site for the ill-fated STS-51L mission, when disintegrated shortly after launch, killing all seven crew.

Launch history

Date/Time (GMT) Rocket Mission Remarks
4 April 1968, 12:00 Saturn V SA-502 Apollo 6 Unmanned test flight
3 March 1969, 16:00 Saturn V SA-504 Apollo 9 Manned test flight
14 November 1969, 16:22 Saturn V SA-507 Apollo 12 Manned lunar landing
31 January 1971, 21:03 Saturn V SA-509 Apollo 14 Manned lunar landing
14 May 1973, 17:30 Saturn INT-21 SA-513 Skylab Space station
4 April 1983, 18:30 STS-6 TDRS deployment, maiden flight of Challenger
30 August 1983, 06:32 STS-8
STS-41B
STS-41D Maiden flight of Discovery
STS-51A
STS-51B
STS-51F
STS-51J Maiden flight of Atlantis
STS-61B
28 January 1986, 16:38 STS-51L Disintegrated during ascent to orbit
STS-26
STS-29
STS-28
STS-33
STS-31
STS-41
STS-39
STS-49 Maiden flight of Endeavour
STS-47
STS-54
STS-57
STS-61
STS-59
STS-64
STS-63
STS-70
STS-74
STS-76
STS-81
STS-84
STS-86
STS-90
STS-95
STS-96
STS-103
STS-106
STS-98
STS-104
STS-109
STS-113
STS-115
STS-117
STS-120
STS-123
11 May 2009, 18:01 STS-125 Hubble servicing mission


References






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