A United Launch Alliance (ULA) barge, known as the RocketShip, carrying Delta IV Heavy booster cores, second stage and payload faring, docked and delivered the rocket body parts on April 5 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The ULA barge delivered the parts in preparation for an upcoming launch scheduled for later this year showcasing the ongoing mission amidst COVID-19.
“We have been anticipating and planning this operation in coordination with ULA for several months,” said 1st Lt. Jasmine Toye, 2nd Space Launch Squadron mission integration manager. “No matter the circumstances, we have one job: perform the mission. Now is no different.”
The arrival of the Delta IV Heavy is a vital first step in ensuring space superiority through assured access to space.
“We are continuing to work with our launch partners to ensure the Western Range remains postured to launch,” said Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander. “COVID-19 may be the threat at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and we are certainly taking all the necessary precautions to address that threat, but make no mistake, our national security still depends on our ability to launch rockets.”
The rocket parts were ultimately delivered to ULA’s Horizontal Integration Facility, where they will be configured for the next several months before being erected into Space Launch Complex-6 for final integration and launch.