The historic 50-year-old Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is undergoing a $100 million interior renovation. In a recent article by ENR Southeast, the rebuild will better serve NASA’s new deep-space vehicle, known as the Space Launch System. RS&H is engineering the design of the new steel-framed platforms.
Engineering systems that would meet NASA's functional requirements without overstressing the existing structure was a main challenge, says John Kercsmar, vice president with RS&H.
While the company has designed larger, similar platforms for other industries, the new High Bay 3 system is "very big" for movable systems, Kercsmar adds. The new assembly platform system features 10 different elevations, or levels, with each comprised of two halves, for a total of 20 halves. Each platform half measures approximately 76 feet wide, 38 feet deep and 6 feet high, with weights ranging between 144 and 168 tons. The proposed completion date is set for fall 2016.