NOAA-N Prime Launch Coverage

    NOAA-N Prime logo
    Launch of the Delta II rocket carrying the NOAA-N Prime satellite was scrubbed on Feb. 4. Check the NOAA-N Prime main page for further updates on the rescheduled launch date.

    Built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., NOAA-N Prime is the latest polar-orbiting satellite developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA uses two satellites, a morning and afternoon satellite, to ensure every part of Earth is observed at least twice every 12 hours. The new satellite will collect information about Earth's atmosphere and environment to improve weather prediction and climate research across the globe.

    NASA Launch Blog Signing Off
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 05:56:39 AM EST

    Thanks for joining us for today's countdown.

    For more information about a new launch date for the Delta II rocket carrying the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft, check the Web at:

    See what other upcoming launch blogs NASA's Kennedy Space Center Web team has scheduled by visiting:

    Launch Weather Forecast Update
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 05:29:37 AM EST

    The weather for the next few days may present a problem for liftoff, with only a 20 percent chance of good weather for Thursday. It only improves to 40 percent favorable on both Friday and Saturday, and 60 percent for Sunday.

    The launch team will continue to evaluate the technical problems at the pad.

    Problem at Launch Facility Scrubs Today's Liftoff
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 05:10:33 AM EST

    The scrub was due to a problem with the facility's gaseous nitrogen system used to pressurize the liquid oxygen tank and control systems. The next launch attempt will be contingent upon weather and the repairs at the facility.

    A weather briefing on tomorrow's launch forecast will be given shortly.

    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 05:04:30 AM EST

    Today's launch of the Delta II rocket carrying the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft has been scrubbed for this morning due to a problem at the pad. More details to follow.

    It's a fact...
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:51:28 AM EST

    At 36 seconds after liftoff, the rocket reaches Mach 1, and hits maximum dynamic pressure 14 seconds later.

    Hold Begins
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:41:44 AM EST

    We are at T-15 minutes and holding. The countdown will resume in 20 minutes.

    Rocket Checks
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:41:20 AM EST

    At T-19, we are nearing the first of two planned holds in today's countdown.

    The engine steering checks have been performed. During these tests, the engine nozzles of the rocket's first and second stages are put through a series of programmed movements to verify their ability to steer the vehicle as it climbs spaceward.

    Liftoff in One Hour
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:41:01 AM EST

    Just one hour left before the Delta II lights up the sky, sending the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft toward its orbit around Earth. The spacecraft and rocket are both in good shape, and the California weather is cooperating.

    LOX Loading Complete
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:35:30 AM EST

    The liquid oxygen fill was completed at 4:10 a.m., but the tank will be continually topped off as a small amount of the oxygen is vented during the countdown to prevent pressure from building within the tank.

    The next built-in hold will come at the T-15 minute mark and will last for 20 minutes.

    It's a fact...
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:18:49 AM EST

    NOAA-N Prime will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world, providing forecasters worldwide access to the satellite's images and data.

    Countdown on Target
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 04:18:48 AM EST

    The countdown continues to go smoothly. There are no technical concerns with either the spacecraft or the rocket, and weather continues to be favorable. There are two planned holds in today's countdown, with the first coming at the T-15 minute mark.

    RP-1 Fueling Completed Earlier
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 03:41:20 AM EST

    Loading of RP-1 fuel into the Delta II rocket's first stage began last night at 6:30 p.m. EST, and was followed by tower rollback.

    The first stage engine is powered by RP-1 -- a highly refined form of kerosene -- combined with liquid oxygen. A short time ago, technicians got the "go" from the launch team to begin pumping in the liquid oxygen. The Delta II also is getting added lift by using three strap-on solid rocket boosters for this launch.

    The rocket's second stage was loaded with hypergolic propellants on Saturday.

    Go for Fueling the Delta II
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 03:28:18 AM EST

    We are at the T-82 minute mark in today's countdown. Following polls by the NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez and Mission Director Rich Murphy, technicians were given the "go" to load the supercool liquid oxygen into the rocket's first stage. As about 15,000 gallons of the propellant flow into the rocket's first stage, engine heaters help stabilize the vehicle.

    Launch Weather Forecast
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 03:28:18 AM EST

    The launch weather officer today is Capt. Damon Vorhees from the 30th Weather Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In the T-95 weather briefing he reported continuing favorable conditions, which are expected to last right up through liftoff. The team will get another weather assessment at the T-10 minute mark.

    Welcome to the NASA NOAA-N Prime Launch Blog
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 03:02:15 AM EST

    Live from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, good morning and thanks for joining us for the launch of a Delta II rocket carrying the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft. The two-stage rocket set to carry the satellite stands ready at Space Launch Complex-2 West at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

    We are currently at T-112 and counting. Liftoff is set for 5:22 a.m. EST (2:22 a.m. local time in California), and the team has a launch window that lasts 10 minutes. Today's blog uses Eastern time for our updates.

    Call to stations for the launch team was at 2 a.m. We came out of the built-in 60-minute hold at 2:22, marking the start of the final hours before launch.

    A weather briefing at the T-95 mark should be coming shortly. Stay right here as we countdown to the Delta II launch that will light up the California sky and propel the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft into its polar orbit.

    Live Launch Coverage
    Wed, 04 Feb 2009 02:47:14 AM EST

    Coverage of the NOAA-N Prime launch aboard a Delta II rocket will begin at 3 a.m. EST.

    Live Coverage Team
    Blog Updates: Cheryl L. Mansfield
    Site Updates: Amber Philman
    Video Uploads/Captions: Elaine Marconi
    Quality Control: Rebecca Sprague
    Video Production: Aly Lee
    Video Capture/Editing: Chris Chamberland and Gianni Woods