Ship used to recover shuttle rocket boosters to be retired
WASHINGTON (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
NASA's solid rocket booster recovery ship, Liberty Star, will be transferred to the National Defense Reserve Fleet for use as a training vessel.
With the end of the Space Shuttle Program, NASA and the Transportation Department's Maritime Administration (MARAD) worked together to ensure the ship could continue service as a training vessel for midshipmen at the Merchant Marine Academy.
"Liberty Star served NASA well during the Space Shuttle Program," said Robert Lightfoot, acting associate administrator for NASA. "We know it will greatly benefit the Kings Point midshipmen, and we're proud that Liberty Star will continue to serve the United States with distinction."
This ship will serve as a training vessel at the academy, providing significant merchant marine training value to Kings Point midshipmen as the vessel has dynamic positioning, modern towing capabilities and other features that will expand training opportunities. However, NASA will continue to have access to Liberty Star if the agency requires its use and it is available.
Liberty Star was launched in 1981 and served as one of two recovery vessels for retrieving the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters, which were jettisoned about 2 minutes after launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA still is working to identify a suitable new use for Freedom Star, the other recovery ship. For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
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