With all the attention Elon Musk draws to SpaceX these days, it’s easy to forget that NASA is still kicking. In fact, NASA is actually gearing up for an unmanned mission to the Moon and Mars in the next couple of years, codenamed Exploration Mission-1, with a manned mission following a few years after. To get these rockets into the inky darkness of space, NASA will be utilizing the Mobile Launcher, a rocket launching station designed to be loaded and moved as necessary.
As a demonstration of this tech, the Mobile Launcher was on display at the Kennedy Space Center, groaning down the runway at .7 miles per hour on the Crawler Transporter-2. While the Launcher spent the day crawling to its destination, KSC employees and NASA scientists hyped up its features and some mission details to a crowd of onlookers.
Its creators have likened the massive structure to “a skyscraper that you can move around.” The Mobile Launcher is also designed to be adaptable to any new technological improvements that come before the mission. NASA is hoping to be ready for Exploration Mission-1 in June of 2020.