DSCOVR now set to launch no earlier than Jan. 29
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) in conjunction with Space Exploration Technologies or “SpaceX,”and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA announced a delay in the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR ) mission. Originally slated for Jan. 23 2015, DSCOVR is now scheduled to launch no earlier than Jan. 29, 2015. The mission is set to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 on top of a Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket.
NOAA, along with its partners are continuing to monitor any risk to the launch schedule and reports show both the vehicle and the payload are in great health. The launch delay is presumed to be a result of the delayed SpaceX commercial resupply mission (CRS-5).
Previously scheduled for Dec. 19, an anomaly during a pre-launch static fire test of the Falcon 9 delayed the launch, with a new date set for Jan. 6, 2015. By pushing back the launch date for the DSCOVR mission, there would be more cushion in Jan.’s launch schedule that currently includes two SpaceX launches and one ULA launch.
DSCOVR is desgined to maintain real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities vital to the accuracy of NOAA’s weather forecasts and alerts. Without these warning capabilities, critical space weather events, such as geomagnetic storms, could potentially interfere with public infrastructures including power grids, and aviation and communications systems.
From its orbital position, DSCOVR will provide warning times of 15-60 minutes prior to any surge of cosmic particles usually associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and geomagnetic storms. Data provided will be used to predict the locations on Earth where the storms will hit.
Be sure to stay tuned to Spaceflight Insider for continuing information on this mission.
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