Sunday, October 21 , 2018, 6:34 am | Fair 58º


Delta IV Rocket Makes Seafaring Arrival at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Massive booster shipped from manufacturing plant in Alabama

The Delta Mariner docked at Vandenberg Air Force Base last week to deliver a massive rocket for a mission set to depart later this year. Click to view larger
The Delta Mariner docked at Vandenberg Air Force Base last week to deliver a massive rocket for a mission set to depart later this year. (Senior Airman Ian Dudley / U.S. Air Force photo)

The Delta Mariner docked at Vandenberg Air Force Base last week to deliver a massive rocket for a mission set to depart later this year.

The United Launch Alliance booster carried aboard the cargo ship arrived at the South Base harbor on a foggy morning. 

(Scroll down to see a time lapse video of the arrival, taken by Senior Airman Ian Dudley.)

The arrival marked the end of a trek from the factory in Decatur, Alabama, along the Tennessee River to the ocean.

A typical trip to Vandenberg takes 21 days, ULA officials said. 

The dock, actually built to accommodate the West Coast space shuttle program (which was canceled before any launches occurred) found a new life with the Delta IV program. 

In addition to ULA crews, various Air Force personnel were on site to greet the arrivals. 

Once removed from the Mariner, the Delta IV was trucked to Space Launch Complex-6.

The rocket will carry a top-secret payload from the National Reconnaissance Office during a blastoff planned for mid-October.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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