Orion Weather Forecast: 60 Percent ‘Go’

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Orionstack-askewWelcome to Launch Week for the Orion Flight Test! Meteorologists issued a forecast this morning calling for a 60 percent chance of acceptable launch conditions Thursday morning for the liftoff of the Orion spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. The concern is an expected pattern that could see low clouds and sporadic showers move in from the Atlantic later this week, possibly violating launch criteria designed to prevent the rocket from flying through precipitation. The conditions could also kick up winds too high for a safe liftoff, the forecasters said. Orion will have a 2-hour, 39-minute launch window Thursday. Forecasters are also watching conditions on the West Coast where U.S. Navy ships will gather to retrieve Orion from the Pacific following its 4.5-hour flight. Expected conditions will be favorable according to predictions with no precipitation expected Thursday.

At Space Launch Complex 37, technicians and engineers are finishing closeouts on the Orion/Delta IV Heavy stack and completed work inside the Orion crew module to get everything situated for space. No one will ride aboard Orion, but the spacecraft is carrying numerous sensors to measure conditions throughout the mission, including radiation and temperatures inside the crew module as it reaches 3,600 miles above Earth and then plunges through the atmosphere before opening its chutes and splashing down.

10 thoughts on “Orion Weather Forecast: 60 Percent ‘Go’

  1. Andrew

    During a previous video discussion, it sounds like there will be launch opportunities on Friday and Saturday mornings as backup.

    Reply
  2. Stan

    Is there a source of real-time countdown information that I can obtain via mobile phone or FM radio? I hope to go out to Titusville but don’t know how to get launch information as it happens.

    Reply
  3. Rasmus Rosengaard

    Hoping for good conditions.

    My father watched Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon. It was nighttime here in Denmark, but he pulled my 11 months old big-brother from his bed so he could watch it too. My mother was angry as hell at the time, but my brother has always been grateful he did that.
    My father died two months ago. He would have loved to have watched Orion soar. His name is on the chip together with mine and the names of my children.
    I’ll be watching this time.

    Reply
  4. Andrew Lori

    It’s really great to see that NASA is giving Mars alot of importance, but I feel that Jupiter’s moon Europa is waaay more interesting. I do understand that the cost of going to europa, with a lander that can penetrate underground and swim like a submarine while analysing samples of water and mapping the huge ocean while being able to resist the ocean’s currents with the long traveling time between earth and jupiter can be really high, but I think that it’s worth it…there have been plenty of landers to Mars and so far no one has found anything gamechanging…it’s still very important going on Mars but i don’t know, maybe NASA should start being more serious about Europa too…i’ve read that somewhat around 2025 we could maybe have something to send to europa or maybe to orbit jupiter and flyby europa…seriously with the resources that NASA has, 10 years??? I just don’t get it..
    Good luck with Orion though, i’m very excited for this test, hope everything goes perfectly! 🙂

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