Managers from NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) met Tuesday at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to assess the status of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft and the ULA Delta II rocket that will boost SMAP into space. At the conclusion of the Launch Vehicle Readiness Review, a poll was taken and a “go” given for launch from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 2 at 9:20 a.m. EST, the opening of a three-minute launch window, on Thursday, Jan. 29.
Weather forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 30th Weather Squadron still are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather.
Today at Space Launch Complex 2, closeouts of the Delta II payload fairing are complete. Range Safety radar checks with the radar beacons installed on the rocket are under way. Removal of Red Tag items, which are hardware to be removed before flight, also is occurring. Propellant loading of the Delta II second stage was completed on Monday as scheduled.