Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Delta II Rocket Launch On Tap Thursday
LIVE IMAGES: Refresh this page to see the latest still images from a video feed at the Delta II launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (left) and the Ar Force 45th Space Wing weather channel .
A Delta II Heavy rocket is being readied for launch early Thursday on a $500-million mission to map the gravitational field of the moon and determine its internal make-up from crust to core.
The 12-story Delta II and twin NASA spacecraft are scheduled to blast off from Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8:37 a.m. Thursday. A second opportunity will come at 9:16 a.m. if need be.
A team of United Launch Alliance mechanical engineers plan to roll back a massive launch gantry at the complex between 10:30 p.m. and midnight tonight, weather permitting. Thunderstorms have been pounding parts of the northern end of the Space Coast this evening, and there is a 40 percent chance the weather will prohibit a tower rollback as scheduled. The probability after midnight decreases to 30 percent.
The tower must be rolled back by 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. in order to support a launch attempt on Thursday.
Posted by Todd Halvorson at 6:43 PM