Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia on the crawler-transporter.

The crawler-transporter is an immense vehicle, adapted from earth-moving machinery, which carried the Space Shuttle, and, previous to that,the Saturn V, on a crawlerway (see below) from the Vertical Assembly Building to one or other of launch pads 39A and 39B at Cape Canaveral. The crawler-transporter is 40 meters long and 35 meters wide, weighs 2,721 tons, and contains two diesel generators that provide 5,600 horsepower for the electric drive motor system. It moves on four double-tracked crawlers, with hydraulic jacking pads on 27-meter centers. Traveling at a mere 1.5 kilometers per hour, it guzzles fuel at the rate of one liter every 1.6 meters (one gallon every 20 feet).



The crawlerway is a specially prepared dual roadway providing access for the crawler-transporter to the launch pads, arming tower parking areas, and the Vertical Assembly Building. The roadway is designed to support 7.9 million kilograms. The two lanes are spaced on 27-meter centers to match the tractor units, and each lane is 12 meters wide. The crawlerway has a 5% grade approaching each pad.