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Record Details

Record 21 of 6164
Recovery Ship Freedom Star
NIX Online Source: Click to View Photo/Image
Abstract: Freedom Star, one of NASA's two solid rocket booster recovery ships, is towing a barge containing the third Space Shuttle Super Lightweight External Tank (SLWT) into Port Canaveral. This SLWT was slated for use to launch the orbiter Discovery on mission STS-95 in October 1998. This first time towing arrangement, part of a cost saving plan by NASA to prudently manage existing resources, began June 12 from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans where the Shuttle's external tanks were manufactured. The barge was transported up Banana River to the LC-39 turn basin using a conventional tug boat. Previously, NASA relied on an outside contractor to provide external tank towing services at a cost of about $120,000 per trip. The new plan allowed NASA's Space Flight Operations contractor, United Space Alliance (USA), to provide the same service to NASA using the recovery ships during their downtime between Shuttle launches. Studies showed a potential savings of about $50,000 per trip. The cost of the necessary ship modifications would be paid back by the fourteenth tank delivery. The other recovery ship, Liberty Star, also underwent deck strengthening enhancements and had the necessary towing wench installed.
Publication Date: Jun 16, 1998
NIX (Document) ID:
MSFC-0401813
(Acquired Oct 12, 2007)
Document Type: Photograph
Publication Information: Marshall Image Exchange (MiX) - NASA MSFC
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