Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
The launch of AC-79/GOES-K from Pad B at Complex 36 remains on schedule at this time. The liftoff is targeted to occur at 1:50 a.m. on Thursday, April 24. At the launch pad, close outs of the Atlas 1 launch vehicle and the GOES-K weather satellite are underway today.
The launch countdown will begin on Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. The GOES-K spacecraft atop the rocket will be powered on for launch at 10 p.m. At 10:50 p.m. the gantry, or mobile service tower, which surrounds the vehicle providing access and weather protection is scheduled to be retracted. Fueling of the vehicle with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen is planned to begin a few minutes after midnight.
The only concern at this time is the weather forecast which calls for a 90% chance of not being able to meet the launch weather criteria, primarily due to high surface winds. The wind is forecast to exceed the parameters allowable for launch including removal of the mobile service tower from around the vehicle. There is also a chance of low clouds, showers or thunderstorms in the Cape Canaveral vicinity at launch time. A decision on whether to make a launch attempt tomorrow night will be made between 3 and 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Should launch be postponed 24 hours until April 25, there is only a 20% chance of not meeting the launch weather criteria. The launch window on Friday opens one minute earlier and extends from 1:49 to 3:08 a.m.
Status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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