Thursday, July 14, 2011

Delta IV rocket to launch Air Force navigation satellite

An unmanned rocket will deliver a next generation navigational satellite into earth orbit for the U.S. Air Force on Friday from America's Space Coast.

The Air Force's 45th weather office indicated today that there is a 70% chance for favorable weather at launch time.

"On launch day conditions aloft will consist of an upper level high pressure center over the (southeast)", weather officials said in a statement. "Thunderstorms will move very little during the afternoon and evening hours. At the beginning of the launch window any remaining thunderstorm activity is expected to be either dissipated or offshore."

The weather office located at Patrick, AFB added, "Main concern during the launch window will be for any remnant cloud cover associated with the earlier thunderstorm activity."

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium with the GPS IIF-2 satellite is set to lift-off from launch complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 2:45 a.m. EDT -- the start of a nineteen minute launch window.

The Delta IV will use twin solid rocket boosters to support a core main engine to boost the spacecraft in orbit.

As the Delta IV heads eastward out over the Atlantic waters, a brief sunrise in the darkness of the Florida coastline.

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