Monday, September 27, 2010

Last external tank docked at KSC

The last shuttle shuttle external tank expected to ship from New Orleans has docked at Kennedy Space Center.

Concluding its five-day, 900-mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, the 15-story orange fuel tank enclosed in the Pegasus barge pulled into the space center's turn basin around 1 p.m. today.

The Freedom Star solid rocket booster retrieval ship handed the tank off to two commercial tugs at Port Canaveral for the final leg of the journey.

KSC teams on Tuesday morning plan to offload the tank from the barge and wheel it into the Vehicle Assembly Building.

ET-122, as the tank is labeled, was refurbished after being damaged during Hurricane Katrina. It is slated to fly with Endeavour in February on what is now the last of two remaining shuttle flights.

A tank already delivered this summer is available to serve a rescue shuttle, or to fly a third mission if Congress approves funding.

IMAGE: At Kennedy Space Center today, the Pegasus barge, carrying the space shuttle program's last external fuel tank, ET-122, arrived at the turn basin. The tank traveled 900 miles by sea from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Credit: NASA/Frankie Martin

4 comments:

bkhuna said...

If this is truly the last shuttle shuttle external tank, what will they do if another flight is added?

Did the writer mean to say that this is the external tank for the last scheduled shuttle shuttle mission?

Bruce said...

I always like it when I read things like, last tank "expected" to be shipped from New Orleans. Just seems to leave the door open a crack for more flights.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Bush had the tooling for many of the critical parts thrown out, making it impossible to keep the Shuttle flying.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, the shuttle shuttle external tanks were made at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility outside of New Orleans. I guess George Bush had the tool's "thrown out" at the same time he had the levee's blown.

It was all part of his plan to empty New Orleans of those "black people" that he doesn't like.