Liberty Star is in the Home Stretch

6:15 p.m., Eastern Time, Oct. 23
Captain’s Corner, Liberty Star

This evening Liberty is under way for home waters, currently just north of Ft. Pierce, Fla., making about 5 knots with quartering winds from the southeast. This speed permits arrival off Port Canaveral early tomorrow morning, at approximately 7 a.m., for a daylight transfer of the barge Pegasus and ET-134 to two commercial tugboats.

The tugs will tow/push Pegasus through the Port Canaveral channel to the Banana River, then north to the turn basin at the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Meanwhile, Liberty Star will proceed on her own through the Port Canaveral channel to the Banana River and on to her dock at Hangar AF, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Today, we’ve shortened the tow cable from 1,800 feet to 300 feet, permitting safer transit in shallow waters along the remainder of the route.

The ship is in great shape, but has a lot of work to accomplish before getting under way on Monday to support the Ares 1-X Test Flight scheduled for Tuesday.

The crew of Liberty Star is eager to close home port and get ready for the next mission.

Mike Nicholas
M/V Liberty Star

Liberty Star Doing Well Despite Challenging Weather

6:15 pm, Eastern Time, Oct. 21
Captain’s Corner: Liberty Star Doing Well Despite Challenging Weather

Liberty Star is on course and proceeding with the mission to tow Pegasus and ET-134 to the Kennedy Space Center. Pegasus reports all activities onboard have gone well today despite the challenging weather, which strengthened mid-day.

Today’s rougher weather continues with easterly winds gusting to 30 knots, or about 34 miles per hour and seas swelling up to 10-12 feet, higher than forecast. When towing the barge, the generally more challenging weather slows forward progress by a few knots, perhaps one-and-a-half to two, but it starts to add up over time.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for more of the same.

Today the Liberty Star noted passage of the halfway point of the voyage just north of the Dry Tortugas; leaving 448 miles to cover before arriving back to Kennedy Space Center.

Tonight we expect to pass the Dry Tortugas at approximately 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and make our easterly turn to port toward the Florida Straits.

Ship and crew are performing well; mission continues.

Mike Nicholas
Captain, Liberty Star

Liberty Star Enroute Across the Gulf

Captain’s Corner: Oct. 19, 6: 40 p.m., Eastern
Liberty Star Enroute Across the Gulf

The first day at sea on our return trip from Gulfport, Miss. to the Kennedy Space Center has gone extremely well. The day started with a mid-morning transfer of the Pegasus barge in the Port of Gulfport, an operation that went without any problems due to excellent service from the two tug boats, Angelica E and Emmett Eymard, that maintained the barge position ins pite of an easterly wind. The transfer of of the public affairs team went fine with the help of the local pilot boat and the Pegasus and Liberty Star hook up went extremely well, also without a hitch and we got underway in a very short period of time.

The transit of the Gulfport channel between Cat and West Ship Island went as well as possible and we are currently proceeding on our planned route to Kennedy Space Center at 9.3 knots or about 11 miles per hour.  If we maintained this speed for a full day at sea we would cover about 230 miles.

The tow of Pegasus is going quite well; with Pegasus tracking behind us very well.

Current conditions are clear and sunny with cool temperatures and seas running at 2-3 feet. Tomorrow’s weather continues to look good overall. The weather forecast  for later this week shows seas increasing to 4-6 feet.

The Liberty Star’s crew is in great shape and ready to head home for KSC.

Captain Mike Nicholas