Saturday, August 15, 2009

Preps For Delta Launch Continue At The Cape

Preparations for the planned launch early Monday of a Delta II rocket are continuing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today and the weather forecast for launch remains favorable.

A 12-story Delta II rocket and its payload -- the last in a current generation of Navstar Global Positioning System satellites -- is scheduled to blast off from Launch Complex 17A at 6:35 a.m. Monday. The launch window that day will extend through 6:49 a.m.

Air Force meteorologists say there is a 70 percent chance conditions will be acceptable for launch. The only concern is the possibility that rain showers might pop up over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral and then move toward the launch complex in the early morning hours.

Check out the Official Forecast from the Air Force 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron. The wing provides tracking, range safety and weather forecasting services for all launches from Cape Canaveral and NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Meteorologists are keeping close tabs on Tropical Storm Ana, which is expected to reach Antigua on Monday and the east coast of Florida by Thursday. One of the Air Force's Eastern Range tracking station is on Antigua, but the situation is not expected to be a showstopper.

The prevailing winds also prompted Air Force range safety to order a move in the press site for the launch.

Press Site One next to NASA's old Mercury Mission Control Center is going to be off limits because winds from the southeast could push toxic clouds over the press site in the event of an explosion shortly after launch. The back-up press site at the Trident Berm also will be off limits. Hangar F in the Cape Canaveral Industrial Area. There is no direct line of sight for photography of the pad or the rocket at Hangar F. But there will be mission audio.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really? Hangar F? All you can see are other hangars. They should at least let people get on top of the building and get a good line of sight. I guess there will be a lot of photographers going to Jetty Park instead.