Weather improves for tomorrow’s manned Dragon launch
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No major technical issues of any significance were under discussion Monday, but the weather could be a factor. Forecasters initially predicted a 60% chance of a weather-related launch rule violation, but Mike McAleenan, launch weather officer with the 45th Weather Squadron, said conditions appeared to be improving somewhat. “If I was to issue the forecast today, right now we would probably be down to 40% chance of violation,” he said. “We have a bit more rain to go here and maybe another round of afternoon thunderstorms tomorrow, but … it looks like much less (cloud) coverage. So we have some hope for launch day.”
But McAleenan’s forecast does not include downrange conditions in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon’s trajectory where Hurley and Behnken could be forced to ditch in the unlikely event of a catastrophic booster failure during the climb to space.
SpaceX managers will assess a complicated mix of weather models, high-altitude balloon data and actual wind, rain and wave data from multiple buoys along the ground track to determine whether conditions, on average, are acceptable for launch.
The launch is set for 4:33 pm. I will embed SpaceX’s live stream here on Behind the Black tomorrow earlier in the day, when things begin..
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