Monday, May 3, 2010

Slick causes tank shipment problem

The oil slick floating in the Gulf of Mexico caused a few headaches in the effort to ship an external fuel tank to Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The 15-story tank used in Space Shuttle launches is made at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, and it's sent in a covered barge to Kennedy. But the slick blocked the usual deep-water access. The barge was placed on a barge Saturday and was scheduled for a Monday night departure to Gulfport, Miss. That's where the NASA retrieval ship, Freedom Star, will take over from the commercial towers and bring it the rest of the way to Kennedy. The 900-mile trip takes six days. (Sources: Multiple, including WLOX-TV, MSNBC, 05/03/10)