Ivey's Construction, Inc. of Merritt Island, Florida was selected by DNC Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc. (DNC) and NASA to lead a team to transport and install NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis in the new Orbiter Display Building at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center. Ivey's scope of work included: working closely with DNC and designer BRPH Engineers to develop the Transport and Lift Plans, transporting the orbiter from the Vertical Processing Building (VAB) to the New Orbiter Display Building at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center, an orbiter test lift, the jacking of the orbiter into display position, and the final opening of the payload doors for display.
- Orbiter weight: 153,996 lbs.
- Orbiter height: 54' - 6"
- Orbiter wing span: 80' - 0"
- Roll-Over Distance: 9.8 miles
- OTS weight: 167,000 lbs. (gross, unloaded)
- OTS length: 107' - 0"
- OTS width: 20' - 0"
- OTS axles: 10
- OTS wheels: 76
- OTS speed: 5 mph (max, loaded)
- Remove and replace 120 light poles
- Remove and replace 23 traffic signals
- Remove and replace 56 traffic signs
- Remove and replace 1 high voltage line (FPL)
- Shrink wrap: 16,000 square feet
Ivey's is pleased to have worked closely with Beyel Brothers Crane of Cocoa, Florida. Ivey's and Beyel have a long history of successful projects together. Beyel's experience, professionalism, and first class equipment have been vital to the success of this project.
The Orbiter transport portion includes a 9.8 mile trek that was accomplished on November 2, 2012 and featured three planned media events. Ivey's General Superintendent, Roy Rafferty, served as the Team Leader. During the move Ivey's team members removed and replaced 23 traffic signals, 120 light poles, 56 traffic signs, and a high voltage line. The orbiter has a wing span of 80 feet and weighs 154,000 pounds. The Space Shuttle Atlantis was moved on NASA's OTS (Orbiter Transport System). The OTS was designed specifically to move NASA's Orbiters and features 10 axles with 76 tires, and has a top speed of 5 mph. The OTS was driven by Phil Beyel, Vice President, of Beyel Bros.
Due to the complex way the Orbiter is displayed, the DNC/BRPH/Ivey's/Beyel team decided to create an actual size mockup utilizing all the working parts of the operation expected for the Orbiter. The comprehensive mockup of the support steel, hydraulic jacks and steel cribbing was installed in Beyel's yard in Cocoa, Fl. The test successfully simulated the entire jacking and rotation of the orbiter from start to finish. A custom mockup of the orbiter that matched the weight and center of gravity was used for the test. High tech load sensing cells were installed on the 800 ton hydraulic jacks to provide detailed loads at all stages of the test. That test data was used during the actual lift.
At the Orbiter Display Facility, the Orbiter was protected with 16,000 square feet of shrink wrap. The Ivey's/Beyel team then used a combination of permanent and temporary support steel, an 800 ton hydraulic jacking system, and steel cribbing stands to raise the Orbiter 30 feet in the air. For safety, steel cribbing stands were utilized to provide redundant support at all four corners of the Orbiter support frame. A maximum of 2 inches of gap was allowed at any time. At that point, hinged center support columns were installed fore and aft. The orbiter was then rotated to its final display configuration at a 43.21 degree pitch. Permanent columns were then installed; the jacking system, cribbing, and the temporary support steel were removed.
The Shuttle Atlantis will remain rotated and shrink wrapped until the Orbiter Display facility is near completion in Spring 2013. At that point Ivey's Crews will clean the Orbiter, carefully remove the shrink wrapping, and open the cargo bay doors to their permanent display position.