NASA just recently extended its contract with the Gainesville-based engineering firm Jones Edmunds to work mainly on its deep space program. The focus of the main project will be to ensure the roadway connecting the assembly building to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center will be strong enough to support the Space Launch System (SLS) while being carried by the “crawler” transporter. These two pieces of machinery combined are estimated to weigh up to 25 million pounds.
The contract agreed upon by the two parties is for five years or capped at $20 million, whichever comes first. This is the fourth consecutive five year contract Jones Edmunds has acquired from NASA. The engineering firm will not exclusively be working on the SLS project; other NASA facilities around the world will be utilizing Jones Edmunds’ skilled employees. There is no certain date as of now, but the first conducted launch of the SLS is scheduled for 2018.