Kicksat launch this Friday 2014-04-18 or Sat 2014-04-19

UPDATE: Kicksat has successfully launched.
Sprites will be deployed around 2014-05-04 15:45 EDT.
Kicksat orbit is predicted to decay around 2014-05-14.

Technical difficulties aside, there is a 40% chance weather will permit kicksat to launch Friday and a 36% chance it will launch saturday for a total probablity of 76%.

DayChance Weather OKchance launch
Friday 2014-04-18 03:25PM EDT40%40%
Saturday 2014-04-19 03:02PM EDT60%36%

The probability of launch on saturday is lower than that on friday, even though the weather is more likely to permit launch; this reflects the possibility that it may have already launched on friday.

Zac forwarded the following information from NASA:

The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 40 percent chance of favorable conditions for the launch of SpaceX-3 to the International Space Station Friday, April 18. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms that could cause violations of the Thick Cloud, Lightning and Flight Through Precipitation rules. For a backup launch opportunity on Saturday, April 19, the weather is 60 percent “go” with a possibility of violating the Thick Cloud, Liftoff Winds and Flight Through Precipitation rules. The detailed weather forecast is below.

Launch is targeted for 3:25 p.m. EDT Friday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m.

A launch on Friday results in a rendezvous with the space station on Sunday, April 20 and a grapple at 7:14 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m. with berthing coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Launch on Saturday, April 19, would occur at 3:02 p.m. NASA TV coverage would begin at 2 p.m.This would be a three-day transit to the station instead of two days with grapple on Tuesday, April 22. Weather is forecast to improve to 60 percent “go” on Saturday.

NASA issued the following media advisory about the upcoming space station spacewalk:

NASA Sets Preview Briefing, TV Schedule for Space Station Spacewalk

Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station will conduct a spacewalk in the coming week to replace a failed backup computer relay system on the space station’s truss. The activity, designated U.S. EVA 26, will be broadcast live on NASA Television and previewed in a briefing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston at 9:30 a.m. EDT Friday, April 18.

The briefing participants are:
— Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager
— Brian Smith, International Space Station flight director
— Glenda Brown, lead spacewalk officer

NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson are scheduled to venture outside the space station Wednesday, April 23, to replace a backup multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM) that failed during routine testing April 11. The box is one of the station’s two external MDMs that provide commands to some of the space station’s systems, including the external cooling system, solar alpha rotary joints and mobile transporter rail car.

NASA TV coverage of the April 23 spacewalk will begin at 8:30 a.m. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 9:20 a.m.

If Friday’s SpaceX cargo launch to the station is postponed, the two Expedition 39 astronauts will conduct the spacewalk Sunday, April 20. NASA TV coverage would begin at 8 a.m. with the spacewalk scheduled to begin at 8:55 a.m.

The spacewalk will be the 179th in support of space station assembly and maintenance, the ninth in Mastracchio’s career and the fifth for Swanson. Mastracchio will carry the designation of EV 1, wearing the spacesuit bearing red stripes. Swanson will be EV 2, wearing the spacesuit without stripes.

For the latest information on the SpaceX-3 mission, visit:

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

SpaceX-3 L-1 Day Launch Weather Forecast

Launch Day:

The Probability of Weather Prohibiting Launch: 60%
Primary Concern: Thick Cloud Rule, Lightning Rule, Flight Through Precipitation

24-Hour Delay:
The Probability of Weather Prohibiting Launch: 40%
Primary Concern: Thick Cloud Rule, Liftoff Winds, Flight Through Precipitation

Details: Strong on-shore flow along the Space Coast remains through today. On Friday a dynamic weather pattern will develop as a surface low pressure area forms on the stalled frontal boundary in the Gulf of Mexico. The exact track of this feature as it transits the Florida Peninsula will have a drastic and varied result in the weather over the Spaceport. If the low tracks further north and makes landfall north of the Big Bend area of Florida as models have been trending, unfavorable weather will be much more isolated. If the low tracks closer to Central Florida, thick cloud cover, periods of rain and isolated thunderstorms are likely. On Saturday, the low will slowly move off the Georgia Coast and strengthen, continuing to create clouds and coastal showers with strong northeasterly winds along the Florida East Coast. Conditions gradually improve Monday and Tuesday as the low moves further northeast and high pressure builds into Florida, resulting in decreasing wind speeds and more favorable weather conditions.

Clouds Coverage Bases (feet) Tops (feet)
Cumulus Scattered 3,000 10,000
Altocumulus Broken 10,000 15,000
Cirrostratus Overcast 25,000 30,000

Weather: Showers/Thunderstorms
Visibility: 5 miles
Solar Activity: Moderate
Wind: 130° @ 20 P25 (162’)
Pressure: 30.03 INS
Temperature: 76° F
Relative Humidity: 82%

Leave a Reply