Friday, December 11, 2009

NASA Infrared Telescope Set For Launch Monday

A Delta II rocket and a robotic NASA explorer are slated to launch Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The United Launch Alliance rocket and its payload -- NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE -- had been slated to blast off today from Space Launch Complex 2 at the central California air base. But the launch was delayed after engineers detected problems with a booster steering engine.

Engineers plan to replace a suspect component and then test the spare over the weekend.

The weather forecast for launch Monday is very good. Meteorologists say there is an 80 percent chance conditions will be acceptable for launch during a window that will extend from 9:09 a.m. EST to 9:23 a.m. EST.

The NASA spacecraft will use an infrared telescope to scan the entire sky with unmatched sensitivity, picking up the glow from both bright and faint objects, some of which will never have been seen before. The telescope will be able to detect light from the coolest stars as well as the most luminous galaxies in the universe and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets.

Check out the details HERE

No comments: