Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weather looks great for Delta IV on Friday

Despite miserable conditions today, near-perfect weather is expected for Friday's planned pre-sunset launch of a spy satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket is targeting a 5:57 p.m. liftoff from Launch Complex 37, flying a National Reconnaissance Office payload.

Teams are holding a launch readiness review today.

The lastest Air Force forecast shows a 90 percent chance of favorable conditions Friday and into the weekend if the launch is delayed.

Winds could be a concern when the mobile service tower sheltering the 21-story rocket is rolled back at 2:15 a.m. Friday, but aren't expected to reach a 20-knot limit at launch time.

The launch window's duration has not been released because of the classified mission.

But it looks to be no more than about 90 minutes. The Air Force has warned boaters to stay clear of a launch hazard area extending slightly souteast of the pad between 3:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Click here for a link to the map.

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