NASA Chooses Bechtel Team for Design/Build of Second Mobile Launcher for Next US Heavy-Lift Rocket

27 June 2019 Cocoa, Florida

Space Launch System designed to carry payloads and astronauts to Moon, Mars

RESTON, Virginia, June 27, 2019 — Bechtel announced today it has been selected to return to the Space Coast in Florida and the space and launch infrastructure market. NASA has chosen Bechtel National Inc., along with teaming subcontractors, to design, build, test, and commission Mobile Launcher 2, the ground structure that will be used to assemble and launch the next version of the Space Launch System rocket. SLS could one day take materials and astronauts to the Moon or Mars.

The cost-plus-award-fee contract carries an estimated value of approximately $383 million with a term of 44 months.

“We partner with governments and commercial customers to deliver some of the most complex infrastructure on the planet,” said Barbara Rusinko, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit. “It’s an honor to be chosen to deliver the infrastructure that could eventually take humans to another planet.”

Teaming with Bechtel are GP Strategies Inc., Astro Pak Corporation, BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc. and Cimarron Software Services, Inc.

The 380-foot tall launcher, known as ML2, will consist of the launch platform and physical connections to NASA’s ground infrastructure to provide stability, power, coolant, fuel, and communications prior to launch. ML2 must also interface with the Vehicle Assembly Building and a massive crawler to move the rocket to its launch location at NASA’s famed Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center.

Bechtel designed and built Launch Complex 40 for the Air Force at Cape Canaveral in the early 1990s. At that time it was the nation’s most sophisticated space launch facility. 

“Space is the next frontier for American business,” said Michael Costas, general manager of Bechtel’s Defense and Space business line. “Technology advances and component miniaturization are making space more accessible to more companies. Our global experience delivering NASA and Air Force infrastructure makes us a logical choice to partner with the industry.”

A history of service and delivery

Bechtel’s history of support for the space industry goes back to the Gemini and Apollo programs of the mid-20th century. More recently, Bechtel completed missile launch silos and infrastructure for the U.S. ground-based midcourse missile interceptor system in Alaska and California; and operated the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.