There is a neat little blurb in Roads and Bridges magazine on a small mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Coast of Virginia. The wall was designed and supplied by the Reinforced Earth Company (RECo) back in 2011. Although the wall is only 10 feet high supporting a bridge abutment, it is the route that the Antares Rockets take to reach the launch pad and eventually blast off to resupply the International Space Station. Design challenges for the wall included possible inundation with seawater, extreme live loading, and very thorough QA/QC by NASA and their designees. The live loads were 1,500 psf or about 6 times the normal highway live loading! Read more in Roads and Bridges Magazine.
Most people are aware that Apollo 11 was the NASA where man first set foot on the Moon. But before they could set foot on it, they had to set the landing pads of the LM there! How did they come up with geotechnical soil parameters for the design of the LM’s footpads? How did they determine a bearing capacity of lunar soil? Click through for this facinating article that I hope you will share with your colleagues.