Forecast: 80 Percent ‘Go’ for 6:05 p.m. Liftoff

earth-fulldiscForecasters upgraded today’s expected weather to 80 percent chance of favorable conditions for the launch of NOAA’s DSCOVR spacecraft at 6:05 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. A SpaceX Falcon 9 will place the spacecraft on a course to L1, an area about a million miles from Earth where DSCOVR will observe the sun and the Earth. Should it be necessary to attempt launch on Wednesday, the forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of favorable weather.

The observatory will maintain the nation’s solar wind observations, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA’s space weather alerts, forecasts, and warnings. Space weather events like geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind can affect public infrastructure systems, including power grids, telecommunications systems, and aircraft avionics.  DSCOVR will succeed NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) in supporting solar observations and provide 15- to 60-minute warning time to improve predictions of geomagnetic storm impact locations.

Continuous countdown coverage on the Blog and on NASA TV begins at 5 p.m. EST for the launch at 6:05:34 p.m. Here are some of the milestones today leading up to launch and then seeing DSCOVR delivered on its correct path to space.

1:05:34 p.m.           Launch Pad clear complete
1:25:34 p.m.           Weather briefing
2:35:34 p.m.           Falcon 9 ready for propellant load
2:46:34 p.m.           Tanking polls
3:05:34 p.m.           Propellant load begins
3:20:34 p.m.           RF checks
3:35:34 p.m.           First motion checks
4:20:34 p.m.           Flight Termination System checks
4:35:34 p.m.           Launch vehicle provided power activated
5 p.m.                     NASA Television and Launch Blog coverage begins
5:05:34 p.m.           T-1 hour weather briefing
5:40:34 p.m.           Terminal countdown poll
5:45:34 p.m.           Power to DSCOVR
5:47:34 p.m.           DSCOVR poll
5:50:34 p.m.           Mission Director terminal countdown poll
5:52:34 p.m.           Launch Conductor terminal count poll
5:52:34 p.m.           SpaceX terminal count poll
5:55:34 p.m.           Terminal count autosequence
5:57:34 p.m.           DSCOVR to internal power
5:58:34 p.m.           DSCOVR poll
6:00:34 p.m.           Mission Director poll
6:00:34 p.m.           DSCOVR transition to internal power complete
6:02:34 p.m.           Launch vehicle status check
6:03:04 p.m.           Go for launch
6:03:34 p.m.           Range “Green”
6:05:34 p.m.           Launch
6:08:18 p.m.           First stage cutoff
6:08:22 p.m.           Stage 1 jettison
6:08:29 p.m.           Second stage ignition
6:09:10 p.m.           Fairing jettisoned
6:14:18 p.m.           Second stage engine cutoff (SECO) begins 22-minute coast phase
6:35:43 p.m.           Second stage engine restart (58 seconds)
6:36:41 p.m.           Second stage engine cutoff-2 (SECO-2)
6:40:42 p.m.           DSCOVR spacecraft separation
6:42:14 p.m.           DSCOVR solar array deploy
6:46:53 p.m.           DSCOVR power positive

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