November 25 - The Port of Wilmington has handled the first of six to twelve first-stage core structures for the TaurusR II rocket that is being developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation.

These 30.48 m 100 ft long and 4.5 m 15 ft wide cores originate in the Ukraine and will be trucked to the Wallops Island, VA launch site on a custom-built heavy-duty trailer.

Orbital's Taurus II space launch vehicle is a medium-class launcher that will be used to conduct resupply missions to the International Space Station, as well as a launcher for civil government, defence and intelligence, and commercial satellites.

Diamond State Port Corporation Executive Director, Gene Bailey said: "The fact that Delaware's Departments of Transportation and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security are very accommodating in facilitating truck permitting and police and utilities escorts for such complex movement of cargo has been very helpful to our customers."

The movement of this high-value piece was complex because the core unit was discharged from a ro-ro ship that required special mooring arrangements. In addition, the unit will be driven on a custom-made truck, which is challenging to manoeuvre along the public highway.