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Herkules’ Lift Systems Are Utilized by NASA for the Ares I-X Constellation Program

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WALLED LAKE, MI — Herkules Equipment Corporation worked closely with United Space Alliance (USA) for the upcoming Ares I-X mission by customizing a lift system that enabled rocket engineers to securely load 2400 pound parachutes into a booster rocket. Herkules’ engineering team designed the lift system to meet all of USA’s unique specifications including raised height, travel, foot print, portability and all strict NASA safety standards with a 3 times safety factor. The lifts are currently used at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The purpose of the three lift systems is to accurately raise the 3 large “rocket sized” parachutes independently to meet the top section of the booster rocket. The parachutes are then packed correctly and ultimately deployed in the first stage separation +123 seconds after lift-off. Fork pockets allow the lift to be moved when and where it is needed. The small footprint, combined with the required high raised height, created unique safety challenges that were answered in the design process to USA’s satisfaction, guided by strict regulations.

“It was great to see things come together as planned! Thank you again for all the support” wrote the USA Ares 1st Stage GSE IPT Lead.

Herkules’ pneumatic lift systems are virtually maintenance-free, with no messy fluids or costly cylinders to replace. The power source, Herkules’ Air Bag™ technology, provides a patented direct one-to-one lift ratio, eliminating stress on the scissors, minimizing wear and maintenance. The lifting motion is smooth and stable. The heavy-duty air bags are built for rugged daily use giving facilities a lifetime of trouble-free operation.

Herkules Equipment Corporation has been manufacturing Pneumatic Lifting Equipment for over 20 years, including (standard and custom); Lift Tables, Lift & Rotates, Lift & Tilts, Human Lifts, Power Rotate Systems, Lifts for Integration, Cart Positioners, Pallet Positioners, and Vehicle Lifts.

For more product information, contact Herkules at 800/444-4351, or email Visit our website at

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