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Launch Coverage

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Virtual Launch Control Center - CALIPSO/CloudSat
04.25.06
 
The Virtual Launch Control Center was activated at 4:00 a.m. EDT

The Virtual Launch Control Center was deactivated at 6:07 a.m. EDT

                                                   + View All Launch Videos

                                                   + View First Launch Attempt - April 21, 2006

NOTE: Refresh/Reload your browser every few minutes to view launch control center updates. All times are in EDT unless otherwise stated.



NASA TV Commentator Bruce Buckingham announces that the launch attempt has been scrubbed for the day.
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5:58 a.m. - Due to high level winds a hold was called and the T-4 minute hold could not be released. A 24-hour scrub has been issued. The countdown is being recycled at this time in preparation for a launch attempt tomorrow.

5:53 a.m. - The Boeing Launch Conductor has polled his team and they are ready to proceed with the countdown at the end of the T-4 minute built-in hold.

5:51 a.m. - T-4 minutes and holding. Chuck Dovale is conducting his poll to determine the team's readiness to launch. His team reports that they are ready.

5:48 a.m. - T-4 minutes and holding. This is a scheduled, built-in hold and the final hold of this countdown.

5:45 a.m. - T-6 minutes and counting. There are approximately two minutes until the start of the T-4 minute hold. This hold will last for 10 minutes.

5:36 a.m. - T-16 minutes and counting to liftoff of CALIPSO and CloudSat.

Did you know?
The first stage of the Delta II uses a Rocketdyne main engine which provides nearly 207,000 pounds of thrust by reacting RP-1 fuel with liquid oxygen.

5:32 a.m. - T-20 minutes and counting. The countdown clock is continuing to tick down to liftoff.

5:24 a.m. - NASA Launch Manager Chuck Dovale has polled his team and they are reporting ready to release from the T-20 minute hold.

5:13 a.m. - The launch weather officer has given an updated forecast. Weather conditions for today's flight continue to look good with a 0% chance of weather violations.

5:12 a.m. - We have just entered a 20-minute, built-in hold at T-20 minutes. This is a planned hold. One more 10-minute hold in the countdown remains at T-4 minutes.

5:02 a.m. - We are at T-30 minutes and counting. Vehicle engine "slew checks" are beginning. Slew checks involve pivoting the Delta II's engine nozzles left and right to ensure that they are moving correctly. The test is performed first on the rocket's second stage and then on the first stage.

Did you know?
Boeing Delta II rockets can be configured into two-or three-stage vehicles to accommodate a variety of mission requirements. If there are three or four strap-on graphite epoxy motors (GEMs) all are ignited at liftoff. If nine GEMs are used, six are ignited at liftoff and three are lit during flight.

4:48 a.m. - We are at T-44 minutes and counting. First stage helium and nitrogen bottle decay checks are progressing. This procedure verifies that the chemicals are in a stable state.

NASA TV Commentator Bruce Buckingham interviews Steve Volz, CALIPSO/CloudSat program manager.
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4:43 a.m. - Liquid oxygen loading has been completed. The total time to load all of the liquid oxygen was 23 minutes and 54 seconds.

4:32 a.m. - We are now 13 minutes into loading of the liquid oxygen.

Did you know?
Delta rockets have been carrying NASA spacecraft aloft since the 1960s.

4:25 a.m. - We are at T-67 minutes and counting. At six minutes into the liquid oxygen "flow," steam is venting from the Delta II rocket. As the rocket's first stage is filled with the liquid oxygen, it will appear to change color from blue to white as its exterior frosts over.

Replay of the rollback of the Delta II's service tower.
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4:17 a.m. - Loading of liquid oxygen into the rocket is underway at the T-75 minute mark.

4:12 a.m. - T-80 minutes and counting. The road block to the launch area is in place and the flight hazard area is secured. The launch director reports that we are ready to begin pumping liquid oxygen into the Delta II's first stage.

NASA TV Commentator Bruce Buckingham interviews NASA Mission Integration Manager John Calvert.
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4:06 a.m. - NASA Launch Manager Chuck Dovale has polled his team for permission to begin loading supercold liquid propellants into the rocket, a process known as "cryo tanking." The team reports that they are go for cryo tanking.

NASA TV Commentator Bruce Buckingham introduces this morning's televised launch coverage.
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3:57 a.m. - The launch weather officer has just given today's weather briefing: Winds are out of the northwest and speeds are well below our constraints. There are no weather warnings, watches or advisories in affect at this time. Temperature at launch time is expected to be 50 to 55 degrees F. Currently, the temperature is 54 degrees F and the range is "green," or suitable for flight. The probability of a weather violation grounding today's launch is 0% with no constraints. In the event of a 24-hour scrub, we will have a probability of weather violations of 60%, primarily for thick and cumulous clouds.

**** The previous events took place before the start of live coverage. ****

3:02 a.m. - The terminal countdown to launch CALIPSO and CloudSat aboard a Delta II is underway. The launch time for today is 6:02 a.m. EDT. The rocket's guidance system has been activated. The Delta II's first and second stage helium and nitrogen tanks are pressurized. The flight hazard area is clear, and the rocket's tracking beacon and engine heaters are on.

Yesterday, the rocket was preloaded with 10,000 gallons of RP-1 kerosene propellants. Kerosene is usually loaded on launch day, but engineers elected to do it a day early for this mission.

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