United Launch Alliance teams rolled the Mobile Service Tower away from a Delta 4-Heavy rocket at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37B launch pad Wednesday in preparation for liftoff on a national security mission.
The 9-million-pound, 330-foot-tall mobile gantry began moving away from the Delta 4-Heavy rocket shortly after 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) Wednesday. The structure moved along rail tracks to a park position around 300 feet northeast of the launch mount at Complex 37B.
The tower provided weather protection for the Delta 4-Heavy, and access to the launch vehicle for engineers and technicians, since the rocket’s rollout and erection at the launch pad last November. The tower stands around 330 feet tall, and measures 90 feet wide and 40 feet deep. It was built before the first Delta 4 launch in 2002.
The rollback of the Mobile Service Tower on Wednesday afternoon revealed the 235-foot-tall Delta 4-Heavy rocket for liftoff late Wednesday night. The triple-core rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, will carry a classified satellite into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office, the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency.
The photos below show the retraction of the mobile gantry Wednesday. See our Mission Status Center for live countdown and mission coverage.
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