Aquarius/SAC-D launch rescheduled

Jun 09, 2011 By Alan Buis, Steve Cole, and George Diller
Inside the mobile service tower at Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA’s Aquarius spacecraft is secure inside the United Launch Alliance’s Delta II payload fairing. Credit: NASA/VAFB

(PhysOrg.com) -- The launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D mission is postponed 24 hours until Friday, June 10, from NASA's Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 5-minute launch window opens at 7:20 a.m. PDT (10:20 a.m. EDT).

The new launch date will allow the launch team to complete additional review of an inconsistency found in the Delta II flight profile for wind conditions on the day of launch. These data are used to steer the Delta II through upper level winds. The weather forecast for June 10 shows a 100 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch.

The Aquarius/SAC-D (Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas) observatory is a collaboration between NASA and Argentina's space agency, Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE).

Media are invited to see and photograph the Delta II with Aquarius/SAC-D at the on Thursday, June 9. Media will depart for the pad at 9:30 p.m. PDT from the Vandenberg Main Gate on California State Road 1.

Media covering the launch on Friday, June 10, will be escorted to the press viewing site from the Vandenberg Main Gate. Media should meet at 6 a.m. PDT at the pass and identification building.

Aquarius was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. NASA's Launch Services Program at the in Florida manages the launch. JPL will manage Aquarius through its commissioning phase and archive mission data. Goddard will manage Aquarius mission operations and process science data. CONAE is providing the SAC-D spacecraft, optical camera, thermal camera with Canada, , sensors from various Argentine institutions and the mission operations center. France and Italy also are contributing instruments.

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More information: On launch day, June 10, NASA TV commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 5:30 a.m. PDT (8:30 a.m. EDT). Launch coverage will be streamed live at: www.nasa.gov/ntv

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