While the launch is scheduled for 1:51AM PST on Feb 24, 2009, for all intents and purposes launch day is upon us.
It is only 10:20AM and it has already been a busy day. The day began with a 7:00AM Launch Readiness Review (LRR) with the Vandenberg AFB 30th Space Wing Commander. All base systems appear ready to support the launch. Even the weather is cooperating. When exiting this morning’s LRR the rain had stopped and a rainbow appeared over the launch site. We will take any good omen that comes our way. Out of the window in the NASA building at the base, I’m currently looking at blue skies with a few scattered clouds. The report from the Vandenberg AFB weather officer shows zero probability of a weather violation for launch. Can’t ask for better than that!
At 9:00AM we conducted our pre-launch press conference. All of the participants were pleased with the outcome. If you missed it, I expect it to be replayed throughout the day on NASA TV:
No time to relax though. After I’m done with this blog entry I am off to the launch pad for a photo opportunity with the entire OCO team. One last family photo before our baby is launched.
Immediately following the photo, I am heading to the hotel where our science team meetings and guest operations are based. I’m on the agenda at 2:00PM to give a briefing to a combined audience of scientists and guests. Then at 4:00PM is our guest reception.
When that is done I can head back to my hotel (about 30 minutes away) to “relax” before heading to the base for the beginning of the countdown. I am planning to arrive at the Mission Director’s Center around 9:45PM, just a little more than 4 hours prior to launch.
If I get the chance I’ll post more blog entries before launch.
The excitement is building!