MV Liberty Star

American Bureau of Shipping

IMO no. 7925302

The Liberty Star is a U.S. based, ocean-going tug and workboat. It is located together with her sister ship, the Freedom Star, owned by NASA, but was operated by the United Space Alliance.


Liberty Star was built under the hull number 183 of Atlantic Marine Shipyard, Fort George Iceland, Florida. In October 1980, she was delivered to its original owner United Technologies, which they later sold to NASA. There was the Liberty Star, just like the Freedom Star, among other things, for years used to recover the solid rocket boosters of the space shuttle from the Atlantic, where it served as a tractor. They also transported the external tank of the space shuttle from the manufacturing plant, the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On August 21, 2012 shortly after the end of the Space Shuttle missions, NASA reached agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation sure to leave the Liberty Star of the United States Merchant Marine Academy as a training ship. Nevertheless, the ship is NASA for future missions.


The ship is powered by two diesel engines from General Motors with a power of 1119 kW. A stern thruster allows the ship to move using a water jet in any direction, without using the propeller. This system was installed to protect the Banana River, where is the home port of the Liberty Star and Freedom Star, endangered Seekuhpopulation. In addition, the risk for divers is lowered, the work during the missions in the vicinity of the ship.