Now’s Your Big Chance To Use NASA’s Shuttle Launcher Platforms

If you’ve got a new use for the mobile launcher platforms NASA used for the shuttle program, the agency is all ears.

NASA invited government and commercial entities to submit their ideas for the platforms, which used to ferry the space shuttles and the Apollo rockets from the Vehicle Assembly Building to their launch pads.

Space shuttle Discovery on board one of the mobile launcher platforms. Credit: NASA

The ideal for NASA is to make them available for commercial launch activity. “Interested parties are requested to provide the following … estimated annual launch manifest, plans for retrofitting, storing, transporting, estimated schedule for acquiring use of the MLP(s), and the length of time the MLP(s) would be required for a particular activity,” the agency stated in a request for information.

Other options for the platforms could include modifying them for use in oil rigs, artificial reefs or even museum exhibits. Deconstruction is also being considered.

Each of the three platforms is two storeys tall, weigh 8.2 million pounds, with a platform of about 160 feet by 135 feet.

Responses are due Sept. 6 and you can check out the RFI here.

Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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