MV Delta Mariner Delivers ULA Rocket Stages For ISS Launch Next Month From Cape Canaveral
By Spaceflight Now // February 6, 2017
312-foot-long roll-on/roll-off oceangoing vessel
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — The ocean-sailing ship that transports rocket stages from United Launch Alliance’s factory to U.S. launch sites completed its latest voyage overnight, pulling into port to deliver the Atlas 5 that will send a cargo freighter to the International Space Station in March.
The Mariner, owned and operated by the Foss Maritime company, made a week-long voyage from the ULA production facility in Decatur, Alabama to Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Originally built to carry Delta 4 rockets for Boeing to the Cape and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Mariner now also delivers Atlas 5 stages for ULA whenever circumstances permit.
The Atlas 5’s original mode of transportation — the massive Antonov aircraft — continues to be used sparingly.
The custom-made, purpose-built cargo ship entered service in 2000. The 312-foot-long roll-on/roll-off vessel has a crew of 16, carries over 100,000 gallons of fuel and is powered by engines derived from a locomotive.
It features full living quarters, a kitchen and dining area, a fabrication shop below deck and even a helipad.
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