Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Endeavour boosters expected at Port tonight

The two solid rocket boosters that helped lift Endeavour into space for the final time are expected to be towed into Port Canaveral this evening, before completing the return to land Wednesday.

The Liberty Star is expected in first, reaching the jetty around 8 p.m., followed by the Freedom Star around 9 p.m. The times are dependent on weather and conditions at sea.

The boosters will continue on to Hangar AF at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early Wednesday.

 Click here for more background on the NASA retrieval ships, which are piloted by United Space Alliance crews.

IMAGE: On Feb. 28, the Solid Rocket Booster Retrieval Ship Liberty Star with a booster in tow is docked in Port Canaveral before continuing on to Hangar AF at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A cruise ship is seen in the background. The booster was used during space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 launch from Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 24. The shuttle’s two solid rocket booster casings and associated flight hardware are recovered in the Atlantic Ocean after every launch by Liberty Star and Freedom Star. The boosters impact the Atlantic about seven minutes after liftoff and the retrieval ships are stationed about 10 miles from the impact area at the time of splashdown. After the spent segments are processed, they will be transported to Utah, where they will be refurbished and stored, if needed. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

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