Modifications continue on the Mobile Launcher, or ML, at the Mobile Launcher Park Site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In view from the top of the ML is the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Launch Control Center at left and various other facilities in the Launch Complex 39 area. The ML is being modified and strengthened to accommodate the weight, size and thrust at launch of NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS, and Orion spacecraft.
In 2013, the agency awarded a contract to J.P. Donovan Construction Inc. of Rockledge, Fla., to modify the ML, which is one of the key elements of ground support equipment that is being upgraded by the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program office at Kennedy. The existing 24-foot exhaust hole is being enlarged and strengthened for the larger, heavier SLS rocket. The ML will carry the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft to Launch Pad 39B for its first mission, Exploration Mission-1, in 2017. Photo credit: NASA/Daniel Casper