SMAP, Delta II ‘Go’ to Proceed with Launch This Morning

Managers from NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) met yesterday at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and gave a “go” to proceed with the launch of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft atop a ULA Delta II rocket this morning at 9:20 a.m. EST (6:20 a.m. PST). Liftoff is scheduled for the opening of a three-minute window from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 2.

During inspections following the Jan. 29 launch attempt, minor “debonds” to the booster insulation were identified. The team performed a standard repair.

Weather forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 30th Weather Squadron are predicting a 100 percent chance of favorable weather for launch. There also has been some improvement in the upper level wind conditions.

Continuous countdown coverage begins here at 7 a.m. EST.

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