RocketShip: Latest run from factory supports three launchesFebruary 25, 2022A Delta IV Heavy booster, an Atlas first stage and a Centaur upper stage were among the items delivered by RocketShip. Photo by United Launch AllianceHardware for three important missions to the nation arrived at Cape Canaveral this week from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket factory aboard the R/S RocketShip for upcoming Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy launches.The ship departed the dock in Decatur, Alabama, on Feb. 14 for the week-long transit to the launch site. Arrival at the Port Canaveral wharf occurred on Feb. 23 and offloading was completed by Feb. 24.This voyage of RocketShip delivered the Atlas V first stage and Centaur upper stage designated to launch the sixth Space Base Infrared Systems (SBIRS) GEO missile warning satellite for the U.S. Space Force, the Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) for the Atlas V launch of the Crew Flight Test (CFT) of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner to the International Space Station, and the starboard common booster core (CBC-S) and Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS) for a Delta IV Heavy launch in service to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).All of the flight hardware was transported within the payload bay of the uniquely configured roll-on/roll-off cargo ship. The elements were safely moved to ULA facilities on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for pre-flight processing.<snip>The Delta IV Heavy stages are part of a future launch for U.S. national security. The rocket will feature three CBCs and the upper stage to deploy a payload designed, built, and operated by the NRO.The R/S RocketShip has been ferrying Delta IV stages to the Florida and California launch sites for more than 20 years. It also began transporting Atlas V rockets in 2011. The vessel carried its first Vulcan Centaur flight hardware, the Pathfinder Tanking Test (PTT) booster, last year.https://blog.ulalaunch.com/blog/rocketship-latest-run-from-factory-supports-three-launches
With Delta 387’s mission complete, only two more Delta IV missions remain to be launched. These are both slated to fly from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, with the NROL-68 mission slated for liftoff early next year and NROL-70 to follow in the first months of 2024. The first flight of Vulcan, ULA’s replacement for both its Delta IV and Atlas V rockets, is also currently scheduled for the first half of next year.
SFN Launch Schedule, updated October 26Quote<snip>March • Delta 4-Heavy • NROL-68Launch time: TBDLaunch site: SLC-37B, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida<snip>
<snip>March • Delta 4-Heavy • NROL-68Launch time: TBDLaunch site: SLC-37B, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida<snip>
Is there any visible activity of the launch campaign--towards a March launch? The Delta IV-Heavy launch campaign is apparently lengthy. And, it's been a while since the last launch from SLC-37B--December 2020.
Given that a number of components for the Delta IV Heavy to be used for the NROL-68 were delivered to Cape Canaveral last February, I'm sure that preparations could be underway to mate the NROL-68 to the Delta IV Heavy rocket earmarked for this mission.
About dragons on patcheshttps://www.thespacereview.com/article/1033/1
This appears to be a clear indication that the dragon is a symbol for a class of high altitude signals intelligence satellites originally developed under the name Rhyolite.
I hope 37B has a future with another launch provider some day. But the necessary modifications may prove too costly.
Edit: The Wikipedia page for SLC-37 states that SpaceX is looking into using the pad for Starship. I flagged this as citation needed. Any idea if there is some truth to this?