KSC Flag back – Boeing Rocket arrives – Round up

by Chris Bergin

The 209-foot by 110-foot American flag painted on the side of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center is back to its original glory.

The flag was damaged during the hurricanes of 2004 when winds pulled panels from the side of the 525-foot-high VAB. Each star on the flag is more than six feet in diameter and each stripe is nine feet wide.

The flag, completed in April 1976, was added to the side of the VAB as part of the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology held at KSC. At the time it was the largest American flag ever painted.

Boeing Rocket arrives:
The Boeing Delta Mariner, a crucial piece of hardware for the Delta IV rocket program, delivered three Common Booster Cores (CBCs) for the Delta IV Heavy at Cape Canaveral, Florida after a 1,400 mile journey from Decatur, Ala.

“The delivery of the CBCs brings us another step closer to the first operational launch for the Delta Heavy,” said Bill Cullen, director of Boeing Delta IV launch operations. “The Delta team continues to operate with 100% mission success.”

The Delta Mariner “rocket ship” transports the Delta IV common booster cores and other hardware from Decatur, Ala., to launch sites in Florida and California. By adjusting the amount of water the ship holds as ballast, the Delta Mariner cruises between four to five knots in river water only nine feet (2.7 meters) deep, or can punch up the speed to more than 15 knots in the wide-open sea.

Following the unloading of the 150-foot long CBCs from the Mariner, the boosters were transported to the Horizontal Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 37 where all three CBCs will be strapped together to be readied for launch.

The second Boeing Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the 23rd and final Defense Support Program (DSP-23) satellite for the U.S. Air Force later this year. The largest of the Delta IV family, the Heavy version features three CBCs mounted together to form a triple-body rocket – America’s most powerful unmanned launch vehicle.

Happy Birthday Endeavour:
Fourteen years ago this month, Space Shuttle Endeavour was transported from Palmdale, Calif., where the orbiter was built, to the Kennedy Space Center.
On May 7, 1992, Endeavour launched on her maiden flight, STS-49, an extended mission that featured four spacewalks to repair a satellite. Boeing Florida Operations Vice President Bruce Melnick was a mission specialist on that flight, his second Shuttle mission.

Tanking Test delay:
Shuttle Discovery’s second Tanking Test will now take place on Thursday – twice delayed from the weekend and Tuesday, as monitoring equipment is added to the systems with the aim of helping the current troubleshooting that KSC workers are trying to allay.

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