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Dec 03, 2013 | Wheelift

Doerfer Wins Award from NASA for Wheelift Transporters

Wheelift Transporters Operating in Multi-modeDoerfer Companies announced today that it will receive an award from the National Aeronautics & Space Commission (NASA) in conjunction with an on-site visit from several NASA officials to Doerfer’s Waverly and Waterloo, Iowa, factories during the week of December 9, 2013.

Doerfer’s Wheelift Division, which operates primarily from Doerfer’s facility at 1575 Big Rock Road, Waterloo, Iowa, received a multi-year NASA contract in 2012 to provide the main assembly & material handling transporters for NASA’s new SLS (Space Launch System) core stage rocket production plants in New Orleans, LA. Wheelift’s transporters will carry the core stage rocket segments through full assembly, engine test, and launch preparation at NASA’s plants located in Michoud, LA, Stennis Center, MS, and ultimately Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. Doerfer’s Wheelift transporters will travel with the 240 foot assembled rocket core stage on a ship as they make their way to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch.

The NASA SLS program will produce the largest and most powerful rockets ever built and represents the cornerstone of NASA’s future space endeavors. SLS will deploy the Orion Space Capsule to provide enhanced long range capability for extended human space travel beyond earth's orbit and supports travel to the International Space Station as well as commercial and international support cargo missions. Extensive additional information is available on SLS at

NASA’s SLS team is led by Mr. Garry Lyles, SLS Program Chief Engineer, who will travel from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL., to address the Doerfer team along with visiting dignitaries and to conduct the award presentation commencing at 9 am on Thursday, December 12. Mr. Lyles is responsible for overall design and development of the SLS, is the recipient of the Presidential Rank, Distinguished Executive Award, and was named the 2012 Astronautics Engineer by the National Space Club. During NASA’s visit both Wheelift and NASA engineers will demonstrate and test the first 4 transporters produced for SLS, in preparation for delivery to NASA in early 2014. A schedule of events together with contact information will be provided to the media and attending dignitaries for the award presentation and transporter demonstrations. Although Doerfer is unable to open this event to the public, an additional public open house will be scheduled and conducted in 2014 in conjunction with production of the next round of transporters currently in process.

Doerfer Companies is an engineering driven designer, manufacturer, and integrator of automation systems and related equipment used to manufacture, handle, assemble, test, and package industrial and consumer products with plants in Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Singapore. Additional information can be found on Doerfer and Wheelift at and