With the sea-going vessel Delta Mariner to arrive in Alabama for the first time, the Boeing [NYSE:BA] Delta IV common booster core (CBC), built in Decatur, will soon set sail to Space Launch Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
On August 8, the 312-foot-long Delta Mariner will dock off Red Hat road, about one-and-a-half miles from the Boeing Decatur facility. While the vessel is docked, Boeing will test the loading process and related hardware for two-weeks. After that, the vessel will transport to the Cape, the CBC, which makes up the first stage of the Delta IV rocket.
For the Delta Mariner, this will be the first of many visits to Decatur, as the Boeing Delta IV gears up for its inaugural launch scheduled for early next year.
Among those to attend the event will be Gale Schluter, vice president and general manager of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. Schluter says the partnership between Boeing and the people of Alabama, is one of the major driving forces behind the progress in the Delta IV program.
"We made the right decision when we selected Decatur as the home of the Delta IV," says Schluter. "Together we are building a future for the Boeing Delta IV program and the space launch industry."
Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, Col. Robert Saxer, director of U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle system program, and Mike Bunney, general manager of the Boeing Decatur facility, will join Schluter for the event. After a tour of the ship, all four will be available for media interviews.
The Delta Mariner was built by Halter Marine in Moss Point, Miss., for Foss Maritime of Seattle, Wash. The versatile transport vessel can navigate shallow inland waterways as well as the open seas.
From the Boeing factory in Decatur, Ala., the ship will haul rocket components some 550 miles down the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway to Mobile Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico before rounding the Florida peninsula toward the Cape. The ship will also provide future travel to the western range Delta IV launch facility at Vandenberg, Air Force Base, Calif., by passing through the Panama Canal.
The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world and the United States' leading exporter. It is the world's largest NASA contractor and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company's capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
Boeing Delta Web Site