Weather at 70% for SpaceX CRS-5 Launch

After standing down during a period of solar heating following a prematurely terminated December 16 static fire of the Falcon 9 V1.1 booster, NASA and SpaceX are once again preparing for launch of the CRS-5 resupply mission to the International Space Station originally scheduled for December 18th. Weather, which had been a concern a 60% as of the last official estimate “go” estimate on Friday, is gradually improving, and as of Monday morning is listed at 70%.

Launch is scheduled at precisely 6:20:29 AM EST on Tuesday morning, and a weak cold front pushing into Central Florida appears likely to clear out the heavy overcast and occasional sprinkles which greeted Monday morning at Cape Canaveral. Whether the improving weather is an omen for a launch as eagerly anticipated for what is coming back down (the Falcon 9 first stage) as for what is going up (3,600 lbs of supplies) is an open question, but one which will receive a little more light at a 4 PM EST pre-launch briefing, the last of three scheduled for the day.

The full schedule, provided by NASA is as follows, and will be broadcast on NASA TV as well as

The first briefing of the day will air at noon and cover the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) Earth science instrument headed to the space station. Participants for this briefing will be:
Julie Robinson, ISS Program chief scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
Robert J. Swap, program scientist with the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington
Matthew McGill, CATS principal investigator at Goddard

The second briefing will air at 1:30 p.m. and cover some of the numerous science investigations headed to the space station. Participants for the science briefing will be:
Julie Robinson, NASA’s ISS Program chief scientist
Kenneth Shields, director of operations and education for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space
Cheryl Nickerson, Micro-5 principal investigator at Arizona State University
Samuel Durrance, NR-SABOL principal investigator at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne

The final briefing will air at 4 p.m. and provide up-to-date information about the launch. Participants for the prelaunch briefing will be:
Mike Suffredini, NASA’s ISS Program manager
Hans Koenigsmann, vice president for Mission Assurance at SpaceX
Maj. Perry Sweat, U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

More to come following today’s briefings.

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