Nasa’s Crawler Transporter is the largest land vehicle ever built

NASA's Crawler Transporter is a massive vehicle that transports spacecraft to the Kennedy Space Center launch pad. It's among the world's biggest land vehicles.
Interesting Engineering

Nasa's Kennedy Space Center has been home to some of the most remarkable feats of engineering in human history. From the Apollo Saturn V rockets to the space shuttles, the space center has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of space exploration. But even in the midst of all this groundbreaking innovation, there is one machine that stands out as truly extraordinary: the crawler-transporter.

Weighing in at an astonishing 2,721 tonnes, the crawler-transporter is the largest internal-combustion engine vehicle ever built by humans. To put this in perspective, it's half the size of a football field and weighs as much as 1,800 cars. And yet, despite its massive size, the crawler-transporter is a marvel of engineering that can move at a top speed of just over one mile per hour.

The crawler-transporter has been a critical part of the space program at Kennedy Space Center for over four decades. It was originally built to transport the massive Saturn V rockets that were used during the Apollo missions. Later, it was adapted to transport the space shuttles to the launch pad. In fact, every space shuttle that was launched from Kennedy Space Center was transported to the launch pad by one of these gaint machines.

Today, the crawler-transporters are still in use as part of NASA's Artemis program,

which aims to return humans to the Moon by 2024. The program will rely on the crawler-transporters to move the massive Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to the launch pad. With the help of the crawler-transporters, the Artemis program will deliver the first woman and the second man to the Moon.