NASA Mobile Launcher

NASA is currently developing a program entitled Space Launch System (SLS). It is a rocket that will carry the Orion capsule and four astronauts into deep space. Missions are to include travel to asteroids, around the moon, and ultimately Mars. Spalding DeDecker is currently working on the Mobile Launcher that will carry the rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building out to the launching site adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The Mobile Launcher was originally completed in 2010 for the Aries rocket, a smaller rocket with a single engine, but the program was discontinued. The new SLS rocket will be heavier and carry more payload than any other rocket ever made. It will have two booster rockets on its sides which required the blast hole to be reconfigured from a square to a much larger rectangle.

JP Donovan was awarded the contract to essentially dismantle half of the entire base of the launcher and re-build it in a new configuration with all new steel girders 25-feet-tall while temporarily supporting the remaining 386-foot-tall structure, carefully replacing one piece at a time. To do this, they sub-contracted Midwest Steel (MWS) of Detroit, Michigan, a nation-wide steel erecting company. The steel members were required to be installed with very tight tolerances, each piece having to be precisely surveyed and certified. Midwest Steel knew that, based on jobs in the past, Spalding DeDecker was needed to assist them in their efforts. SD has been a sub-contractor for MWS on this project from October of 2013 through the summer of 2015. This is the first of several phases to be completed for a 2017 un-manned test launch.