Update: After 17 Years, DSCOVR Will Have to Wait At Least (Two More) Days..Maybe?

Update: NOAA’s is, or rather was, stating via the NOAA Satellites twitter account, that the DSCOVR launch has been pushed back to Tuesday at the earliest, due to weather concerns. The original tweet appears to have been deleted however.

Original story:

This evening’s launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster carrying the DSCOVR spacecraft was scrubbed with less than three minutes to go after a USAF range tracking radar went down.  Facing yet another instantaneous launch window which left no margin for the Air Force to fix the problem, mission controllers had no choice but to scrub the mission.

Among the disappointed was former Vice President Al Gore, who joined by Florida Senator Bill Nelson, addressed the press shortly before the planned liftoff at 6::10:12 PM EST.


As has been widely documented, the original concept for a 24 hour per day spacecraft operating in deep space and offering constant views of the sunlit side of the planet was put forward by Gore, but then shelved after the satellite was built, reportedly by Gore’s successor, Dick Cheney, who may have been one of the only people pleased by the evening’s non-event.

That condition may last.  The weather forecast for the next launch opportunity, which would be tomorrow, at 6:07 PM EST, is not nearly as favorable as the ideal weather today. A cold front pushing into Central Florida expected to bring light rain by mid-day, and along with it, a 60% chance of violating the thick cloud rule. Meanwhile, the Air Force still has to fix whatever caused a problem with its range tracking radar.

A separate issue, this one a problem with a video camera on the Falcon 9’s first stage, will be addressed by SpaceX, although it would not have caused a launch delay.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Posted in: SpaceX

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  1. Elon Musk has tweeted that the DSCOVR launch is now scheduled for 6:05 PM EST on Tuesday, with a backup at 6:03 PM EST on Wednesday.


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