CENTENNIAL, Colo., Feb. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mariner is continuing its intended journey to Port Canaveral this week after it impacted a bridge in Kentucky while transporting launch vehicle hardware for United Launch Alliance (ULA).
A partnership of dedicated contractors and agencies, led by the Mariner's owner and operator Foss Maritime, has completed an intense salvage operation and all planned repairs since the bridge incident on Jan. 26. The vessel was certified to proceed to its Florida destination by the American Bureau of Shipping; the Mariner departed the shipyard last Friday, proceeding on the journey to the Gulf of Mexico and on to Port Canaveral.
The Mariner is transporting the Atlas booster and Centaur upper stage for the AEHF-2 launch to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) on the normal route northwest on the Tennessee River to the Ohio, and on to the Mississippi River then out to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mariner is scheduled to arrive at Port Canaveral on Feb. 23, which supports ULA's scheduled launch for AEHF-2 on April 27, 2012.
"An incredibly talented and dedicated team came together to support this recovery and repair operation in an exceptionally safe, professional and timely manner," said Dan Collins, ULA's chief operating officer. "On behalf of the ULA team, I thank and congratulate everyone who played a role in the salvage operation."
All work was completed in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard and the state of Kentucky. The primary focus of the salvage operation was the safety of the public and responders as well as protection of the environment. No one was injured and no pollution entered the water. Crew members are on-board to ensure ship safety and stability, as well as security of the launch vehicle hardware.
The Mariner was commissioned in 2002 to transport flight hardware from the ULA factory in Decatur, Ala., to launch sites at CCAFS and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
SOURCE United Launch Alliance