The site for Space Shuttle Card Modelers
© 2008







Mobile Launch Platform


This page is dedicated to the Mobile Launch Platform cardmodel in 1:144 scale. The combination of the Crawler Transporter and the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) is the main hardware that transports the Shuttle to the launch pad. The history of the MLP goes back to the Apollo era, back then it carried the mighty Saturn -V from the Apollo program that took men to the moon. At that time the MLP had the Launch Umbilical Tower on top of the platform.

After the Apollo program ended, the MLP's (there were 3) needed to be prepared for the Shuttle. The main change was the removal of the Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT) and the floor also suffered modifications with the addition of the exhaust holes for the Solid Rocket Boosters and the Shuttle Main Engines.

Through the years during the Shuttle program, the MLP's did not change much, not until Dec 2000 for STS-97 launch on which MLP-1 presented the addition of a new stairway that started on the top floor towards the lower decks. MLP-2 followed with the same modification for STS-98 and MLP-3 for STS-102.

Starting with STS-97, MLP-1 had a new painting scheme for the numbers on all sides of the platform. Since the early years these numbers were a combination of white and black. MLP-2 had the new white number scheme with STS-115. The exception is MLP-3, which had white numbers since the very beginning of the Shuttle program with mission STS-32.

The main source of information to make this papermodel comes from NASA's Mediaarchive Gallery. All photos were screened to record every change mission by mission.

In order to know which MLP is to be used when building your Shuttle Stack, go to the "Download pages" and check the MLP column.




Download Files for the Mobile Launch Platform

MLP Assembly Instructions:

Box platform assembly (272 kb)

Detailing of box (219 kb)

Side1 Decks assembly (535 kb)

Detailing platform exterior (449 kb)

SRB hole pipes assembly and railings


MLP dimensions plan

(733 kb)

MLP General files (3.4 mb)


MLP Floor optional color

(1.7 mb)


Current MLP's : (Side numbers are white)

MLP-1 (783 kb) (STS-97 to present)

MLP-2 (787 kb) (STS-115 to present)

MLP-3 (1.2 mb) (Complete file)


MLP Side 1 Floor Decks

(792 kb)

Side 1 New Stairway (467 kb)

(New Stairway starts with STS-97 to the present on all MLP's)


Tail Service Masts (531 kb)


Water Quench Nozzles

(554 kb)

MLP bottom (1.8 mb)

External tubing (771 kb)

Platform pod (502 kb)

SRB hole pipes



Early MLP's with original numbers color scheme (b&w):


Early MLP-1 (788 kb)

Early "black" MLP-1 (789 kb)

Early checkerboard MLP-1 (1.08 mb)

Early MLP-2 (1.09 mb)


Early external tubing (504 kb)

MLP-1 Tail Service Masts (Graffiti)

(552 kb)

MLP-3 Tail Service Mast (Graffiti)

(483 kb)

Make your MLP model more accurate! Get the mission banner!!!


Banners.pdf (2.5 mb)




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