Mobile Launcher Platform 3 or MLP-3, formerly Mobile Launcher 1 or ML-1 is one of three Mobile Launcher Platforms used at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was used for Saturn V and Saturn IB launches, and later for the Space Shuttle.
MLP-3 was originally constructed between 1963 and 1964 as a Mobile Launcher for the Saturn V rocket, and was designated ML-1, or LUT-1. It was the first Mobile Launcher to be constructed, and was built by Ingalls Iron Works. The swing arms, which were constructed by Hayes International, were added at a later date.
The first launch from ML-1 was the maiden flight of the Saturn V, and the first launch from LC-39, Apollo 4. Following this, it was used for two manned Apollo launches: Apollo 8 and Apollo 11. After NASA decided to move Saturn IB launches from LC-34 to LC-39, it was modified by the addition of a structure known as the Milkstool, which allowed the Saturn IB to use the same Launch Umbilical Tower as the much larger Saturn V. Three manned flights to Skylab, and the Apollo launch for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, were conducted from ML-1 using the Milkstool.
Prior to the scrapping of the LUT in 2004, there was a campaign to rebuild and preserve it as a memorial to Project Apollo. The Crew access arm is preserved at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Following the launch of Skylab, ML-1 was the last Mobile Launcher to be converted for use by the Space Shuttle. The Launch Umbilical Tower and Milkstool were 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-3.
In total, MLP-3 was used for twenty-nine Shuttle launches, starting in 1990. It is the least used of the three Mobile Launcher Platforms.
|9 November 1967, 12:00||Saturn V SA-501||Apollo 4||Maiden flight of Saturn V|
|21 December 1968, 12:51||Saturn V SA-503||Apollo 8||First crewed flight to selenocentric orbit|
|16 July 1969, 13:32||Saturn V SA-506||Apollo 11||First crewed lunar landing|
|25 May 1973, 13:00||Saturn IB SA-206||Skylab 2||Crewed LEO research flight|
|28 July 1973, 11:10||Saturn IB SA-207||Skylab 3||Crewed LEO research flight|
|16 November 1973, 14:01||Saturn IB SA-208||Skylab 4||Crewed LEO research flight|
|15 July 1975, 19:50||Saturn IB SA-210||ASTP Apollo||ASTP, final flight of a Saturn rocket|
|9 January 1990, 12:35:00||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-32|
|2 December 1990, 06:49:00||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-35|
|5 June 1991, 13:24:51||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-40|
|12 September 1991, 23:11:04||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-48|
|22 January 1992, 14:52:33||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-42|
|25 June 1992, 16:12:23||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-50|
|22 October 1992, 14:05:53||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-52|
|26 April 1993, 14:50||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-55|
|12 September 1993, 11:45||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-51|
|3 February 1994, 12:10:00||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-60|
|8 July 1994, 16:43:01||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-65|
|3 November 1994, 16:59:43.060||Space Shuttle Atlantis||STS-66|
|27 June 1995, 19:32:19||Space Shuttle Atlantis||STS-71|
|20 October 1995, 13:53:00||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-73|
|22 February 1996, 20:18:00||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-75|
|20 June 1996, 14:49:00.0075||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-78|
|19 November 1996, 19:55:47||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-80|
|4 April 1997, 19:20:32.074||Space Shuttle Columbia||STS-83|
|7 August 1997, 14:41||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-85|
|23 January 1998, 02:48:15||Space Shuttle Endeavour||STS-89|
|4 December 1998, 08:35:34||Space Shuttle Endeavour||STS-88||ISS assembly, delivered Unity|
|11 February 2000, 17:43||Space Shuttle Endeavour||STS-99||SRTM|
|11 October 2000, 23:17:00||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-92|
|8 March 2001, 11:42||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-102|
|10 August 2001, 21:10:14||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-105|
|8 April 2002 20:44:19||Space Shuttle Atlantis||STS-110|
|7 October 2002, 19:45:51||Space Shuttle Atlantis||STS-112|
|26 July 2005, 14:39:00||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-114||ISS logistics with MPLM|
|31 May 2008, 21:02:12||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-124||ISS assembly, carried JEM-PM|
|15 November 2008, 00:55||Space Shuttle Endeavour||STS-126||ISS resupply, carried MPLM|
|24 February 2011, 21:53:24||Space Shuttle Discovery||STS-133|
|8 July 2011 15:29||Space Shuttle Atlantis||STS-135||Final Space Shuttle mission|
- ↑ Benson, Charles D; Faherty, William B. "The Swing-Arm Controversy". Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations. NASA History Office. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4204/ch13-3.html. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- ↑ "Welcome Page". Save the LUT Campaign. 2004-02-12. http://www.savethelut.org/. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Saturn". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Page. http://planet4589.org/space/lvdb/launch/Saturn. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Saturn V". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Page. http://planet4589.org/space/lvdb/launch/SaturnV. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "STS". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Page. http://planet4589.org/space/lvdb/launch/STS. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
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