VAB Aerial - GPN-2000-000869 (cropped).jpg
Aerial view of Launch Complex 39. The Crawlerway is the pathway between the Vehicle Assembly Building and Pads 39A and 39B.
Crawlerway is located in Florida
Crawlerway is located in the United States
LocationBrevard County, Florida  United States
Nearest cityMerritt Island
Coordinates28°36′13″N 80°37′39″W / 28.60361°N 80.62750°W / 28.60361; -80.62750Coordinates: 28°36′13″N 80°37′39″W / 28.60361°N 80.62750°W / 28.60361; -80.62750
MPSJohn F. Kennedy Space Center MPS
NRHP reference No.99001641[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 21, 2000

The Crawlerway is a 130-foot-wide (40 m)[2] double pathway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It runs between the Vehicle Assembly Building and the two launch pads at Launch Complex 39. It has a length of 3.4 and 4.2 miles (5.5 and 6.8 km) to Pad 39A and Pad 39B, respectively. A seven-foot (2 m) bed of stones lies beneath a layer of asphalt and a surface made of Alabama river rocks.

The Crawlerway was originally designed to support the weight of the Saturn V rocket and its payload, plus the Launch Umbilical Tower and mobile launcher platform, atop a crawler-transporter during the Apollo program. It was also used from 1981 to 2011 to transport the lighter Space Shuttles to their launch pads.

Construction of the Crawlerway connected Merritt Island with the mainland, forming a peninsula. The main vehicle access road to and from the launch pads, the Saturn Causeway, runs alongside the Crawlerway.


The Crawlerway is composed of two 40-foot-wide (12 m) lanes, separated by a 50-foot (15 m) median. The top layer is Alabama river rock, 4 inches (10 cm) thick on the straight sections and 8 inches (20 cm) thick on curves. Alabama river rock was chosen for many properties, including hardness, roundness, sphericity and resistance to LA Abrasion.[3] Beneath that is 4 feet (1.2 m) of graded, crushed stone, resting on two layers of fill.[2] By 2013, a project to repair and upgrade the Crawlerway was undertaken, the first time since it was constructed that the foundation had been repaired. Additional rock was added to the surface in June 2014.[4]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Mobile Launcher Platform". NASA Facts. Countdown! NASA Launch Vehicles and Facilities. NASA. October 1991. PMS 018-B. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008.
  3. ^ Vaughan, Robert. "NASA Crawlerway Foundation and Compatibility Study". Jones Edmunds. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  4. ^ Herridge, Linda (February 22, 2013). "Upgrades Will Prepare Crawlerway for Space Launch System". NASA. Retrieved December 13, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links

Media related to Crawlerway at Wikimedia Commons