Cape Canaveral, Florida. Weather conditions seem mostly favorable for the last launch of the Space Coast this year on Thursday, a mission that is slated to include acoustic ground-vibrating barriers produced by the Falcon 9 booster landing to Cape Canaveral.
If schedules continue, SpaceX will face 70% of “transition” conditions at the Kennedy Space Center from 9 am to 12 noon for the launch of a secret intelligence satellite owned by the National Reconnaissance Office. The exact take-off time during this three-hour period has not yet been established.
“Overnight from Wednesday to Thursday morning, a powerful high-pressure system moving east from southern Texas will bring cooler, drier air to the Space Coast,” the Space Authority’s 45th Weather Squadron He said Tuesday. “The main concern about Thursday’s weather is takeoff winds and the thick cloud bed base associated with any remaining foreground clouds.”
Although not included in the “percentage” calculation in Panel 39A, forecasters note that upper level winds could be a moderate risk by Thursday morning.
After takeoff, the Falcon 9’s 162-foot first-stage booster will detach from Stage 2, and then begin descending again toward Florida. Its target: Landing Area 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, about 9 miles south of Platform 39A.
As it descends toward the tip of the Cape, Space Coast residents and spectators must be prepared for the triple sound bursts the booster generates, which are harmless except for a few alarms and set off car alarms.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 missile was chosen by the NRO for this mission, known as NROL-108. Although the CIA rarely provides details about its payloads, The mission’s artwork was released Tuesday It shows an angry gorilla with tusks striking its chest next to a text that says “Peace through strength.”
“Gorillas are peaceful animals but can be ferocious when necessary,” NRO He said via Twitter. “Like gorillas, our NROL-108 mission is vigilant and ready to defend itself, which demonstrates NRO’s commitment to protecting US war fighters, interests, and allies.”
The launch will mark the 31st Thursday of the year for Space Coast.
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: NRO intelligence satellite
- Launch time: To be determined
- Launch window: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET
- Launch pad: 39A at the Kennedy Space Center
- Landing: Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Station
- Weather: 70% “zap”
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