SMAP Launch Weather Forecast 80 Percent ‘Go’

Weather forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 30th Weather Squadron are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for launch of NASA’s SMAP observatory aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for 9:20 a.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 29 at the opening of a 3-minute launch window.

Today at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 2, United Launch Alliance technicians finished loading storable propellants into the tanks of the Delta II second stage. Last Friday, the oxidizer was loaded aboard and today the hydrazine was loaded into the second stage fuel tank. The launch Readiness Review will be held this morning. All prelaunch preparations are on schedule and there are no significant issues being worked by the launch team.

The prelaunch news conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday afternoon.

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