Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Behemoths...“Big Brutus” and "Crawler Transport"

What’s orange and black with a bit of white and green and once tore into the Earth’s surface seeking vast coal deposits? The answer can be found in West Mineral, Kansas. It is “Big Brutus”. It was eclipsed by “Big Muskie” once located in Cumberland, Ohio and now gone. “Big Brutus” [Bucyrus Erie model 1850B] weighs 5.5X10^3 tons, is about 160 feet high, has a bucket capacity of 90 cubic yards, and speeds along at a whopping speed of about .2 mph. In the mid 1980’s it was retired and converted into a museum.

Now that the space shuttles are grounded, see how they got to the launch pad.

We take many things for granted. Sometimes the little things escape our attention or really don't appear to be important when compared to something more spectacular. Remember the huge Saturn rockets being slowly transported to the launch pad. Tedious indeed--snail pace: One could read War and Peace...twice..in Braille by the time all was done. But the mechanism to move any rocket from point "A" to point "B" is really quite interesting. It takes a behemoth to move a behemoth. Such are the "crawler transport" systems.

"Space shuttle movers get new shoes"

"Crawler - Transporter"

"The Crawler-Transporter" by John Duncan

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