Press Release

MotoArt Preserves NASA’s Space Shuttle History with Mobile Launch Platform-2 PlaneTags

By SpaceRef Editor
August 4, 2021
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MotoArt, a pioneer of creating art and furniture from decommissioned aircraft, along with PlaneTags has created unique aerospace PlaneTags — using salvaged parts from NASA’s now defunct Mobile Launch Platform-2.

The MLP-2 was a massive, two-story mobile structure used by NASA during the build-up and launch of the Space Shuttle program. Previously known as Mobile Launcher-2 (ML-2), the platform was used for the Apollo program before being converted for Space Shuttle launches.

The material used in creating the PlaneTags comes from the Tail Service Masts (TSM), two structures on the top deck of the platform which contained umbilical connections that fed propellants from the launch pad tanks to the external tank, and provided connections to other gasses, electrical and communication links. The umbilicals retracted into the masts at launch and were protected from flames by protective hoods. The TSMs were 15 feet long, 9 feet wide, and rose 31 feet above the MLP deck. They were the last thing the Space Shuttle touched as it lifted from the platform.

The MLP-2 was demolished because it was no longer being used and NASA needed the room for the new Mobile Launcher-2 being built. There were no museums or companies that wanted to preserve it. Dave Hall, owner of MotoArt, saw in the news it was being destroyed and was contacted by many PlaneTags collectors, expressing the hope that something could be done to preserve it.

“The Mobile Launch Platform was such a familiar, unwavering symbol of our space program and our determination to get mankind to the moon and back safely,” said Hall. “It was sad to think that it was going to be demolished and we’d only be able to read about it in a textbook.”

Although the collectible pieces mirror the familiar oval shape and size of PlaneTags they are much thicker and heavier, measuring ½ inch thick. The traditional paper display card has been replaced by aluminum, which holds the PlaneTags with a strong magnet. Each one has been laser cut, polished, etched then assembled by hand, with the attention to quality and detail that MotoArt is known for. They are available on beginning August 5th.

About the company: MotoArt rescues noteworthy decommissioned aircraft from demolition and uses the salvaged parts to create art, furniture and PlaneTags aviation collectibles. MotoArt Studios in Torrance, California, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

SpaceRef staff editor.