December 2, 2021

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Out of space, NASA is demolishing Apollo and space shuttle launch platform

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An excavator tears into the side of Mobile Launch Platform-2 (MLP-2), one of three Apollo and space shuttle support structures. MLP-2 is being demolished to make way for a new Space Launch System (SLS) mobile launcher. (Image credit: Kevin Keenan via

One of the three large steel platforms that supported the launch of NASA’s Apollo and space shuttle missions is now being demolished — due to a lack of space.

Fifty years ago this month, Mobile Launch Platform-2 (MLP-2, or as it was then referred to, Mobile Launcher-2 or ML-2) provided the surface from where the Apollo 14 crew left Earth to land on the moon. Fifteen years later, MLP-2 was the literal “surly bonds of Earth” from where the space shuttle Challenger‘s STS-51L crew tragically lifted off for the last time.

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