UPDATE L-2: Things continue to progress towards ULA Delta IV Heavy launches mission NROL-68 for the National Reconnaissance Office. The mission is scheduled to take off on Wednesday, June 21 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Launch is scheduled for 3:29 a.m. Today’s forecast shows a 75% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.
UPDATE: L-2 Launch Forecast Summary:
- Overall probability of breaking weather restrictions: 25%
- Key Concerns: Anvil Cloud Rules, The law of cumulus clouds and earth wind
- Overall probability of breaching weather restrictions for a 24-hour delay: 20%
- Key Concerns: Anvil Cloud Rules, ground wind
The NRO states: When the United States needs its eyes and ears in critical places that humans cannot reach — be it over the most treacherous terrain or through the most hostile territory — it turns to the NRO. The NRO is the agency of the Intelligence Community responsible for the development, acquisition, launch, and operation of U.S. spy satellites, as well as the operation of related data processing facilities in support of national security.
NRO uses a variety of satellites to meet mission needs, from small satellites to larger, more traditional satellites. This enables the NRO to pursue a hybrid architecture designed to provide global coverage for a wide range of intelligence requirements, execute research and development efforts, and support emergency and disaster relief efforts in the United States and around the world. The NRO never loses focus on the people they are working to protect: our nation and our citizens.
Debuting Weather Officer Mark Burger, from 45th Weather Squadronsays there is a 75 percent chance that the conditions are favorable for a launch opportunity.
“An unsettled weather pattern is likely to persist through at least midweek, characterized by a higher-than-normal chance of showers and thunderstorms each day, with slightly less storm coverage today. today and perhaps Monday compared to recent days,” said the weather starter team.
“Although the highest threat to hurricanes will be in the afternoon and evening hours, there is a high risk that some storms and related clouds could persist for many hours overnight due to a series of higher-order disturbances interacting with the developing surface boundary in northern Florida. A subtle shift in this boundary and upper flow appears to open up in the later parts of the week, leading to slightly more favorable overnight warm-up weather.
“With these considerations in mind, there is a high risk of showers and storms during evening MST retrograde operations, with the possibility of residual cumulus and anvil clouds extending well into the night.”
The launch forecast includes a scattered medium and low cloud, good visibility, variable southwesterly winds 12 to 17 knots, and temperatures near 75 degrees Fahrenheit.