Falcon Heavy L-1 Weather Forecast Launch for Monday is 70 Percent Favorable

By  //  June 24, 2019

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launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT MONDAY

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 70 percent chance of favorable weather Monday, June 24, for the launch of the Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 mission on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. (NASA image)

(NASA) – Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 70 percent chance of favorable weather Monday, June 24, for the launch of the Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 mission on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

The launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT Monday.

Lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the three-booster rocket will take NASA payloads and a total of 24 satellites from government and research institutions to space.

Forecast Details:

An upper-level ridge over the Southeast U.S. will keep the shower and thunderstorm activity over Central Florida below seasonal norms.

The surface ridge axis is south of the Space Coast, however, which will keep the isolated afternoon convection along the Space Coast. This southwesterly flow will also bring high temperatures in the 90s over the Spaceport.

The primary weather concerns for a launch attempt overnight Monday are lingering anvil and thick layer clouds from the isolated afternoon convection.

On Tuesday, the upper-level ridge will begin moving east, allowing a storm system to drop into Florida. Thus, the coverage of showers and storms will increase, while the launch weather concerns remain the same.

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Delay probability of violating launch weather constraints: 40 percent

Primary concerns:  Anvil Cloud Rule, Thick Cloud Layer Rule

Launch Coverage, Monday, June 24: Live NASA Television coverage of the Falcon Heavy launch will begin 30 minutes before liftoff.

Lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the three-booster rocket will take NASA payloads and a total of 24 satellites from government and research institutions to space. (NASA image)

NASA missions and other highlights on this mission include:

  • Multiple NASA technologies, including a small satellite to test the performance of non-toxic “green” spacecraft fuel and an advanced atomic clock to improve how spacecraft navigate
  • Six National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather research satellites, each equipped with a radio occultation (GPS) instrument developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Twin NASA CubeSats that will work in tandem with the NOAA satellites to measure distortion of radio signals traveling through the upper atmosphere
  • An Air Force Research Laboratory spacecraft equipped with NASA instruments to measure how space weather and radiation impact spacecraft electronics
  • StangSat, a CubeSat developed by Florida high school students under the mentorship of Kennedy engineers
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