A cargo ship carrying two Atlas 5 rockets to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for upcoming launches collided with a bridge in Kentucky early January 27, 2012 causing a portion of the bridge to collapse. There were cars on the bridge at the time of the incident but no injuries were reported. The 312-ft Delta Mariner was commissioned by United Launch Alliance to transport the equipment but hit the Eggner Ferry Bridge near Aurora, Kentucky. Two spans of the bridge were destroyed, and debris covered the ship.
The cause of the accident is being investigated by the Coast Guard, but some reports indicate higher than usual water levels may have contributed.
ULA said initial inspections have shown that the flight hardware being transported was not damaged.
“The 312-foot vessel is carrying a United Launch Alliance Atlas booster and Centaur upper stage for the Air Force’s AEHF-2 mission scheduled to launch in April and an interstage adapter for NASA’s RBSP mission [Radiation Belt Storm Probes] scheduled to launch in August,” Chris Chavez of ULA Communications told Universe Today in an email. “There is no schedule impact to either launch date expected at this point.”
This article was updated on 1/28/12.