Space Force: Weather OK for SpaceX launch of Turkish satellite from Cape Canaveral
Weather conditions are expected to be mostly favorable for Florida's first rocket launch of 2021, a SpaceX mission slated to boost a Turkish communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
If the Thursday night Falcon 9 mission holds to its planned liftoff of 8:28 p.m., Space Force forecasters anticipate 60% "go" conditions during a four-hour window at Launch Complex 40. The main concerns are cumulus and thick clouds that could emerge as a cold front moves over Florida this week.
"The boundary itself and any notable precipitation is not expected to arrive until after the launch window, however there will be a small threat for a passing shower ahead of the boundary," 45th Weather Squadron forecasters said Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Turksat, the state-supported satellite operator in Turkey, said a backup attempt on Friday is possible as weather conditions improve to 80% "go." A delegation traveling from the capital city of Ankara is scheduled to arrive in Florida on Wednesday.
After liftoff, the rocket's first stage booster will target a landing on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship stationed about 400 miles (650 kilometers) east of Florida.
Labeled Turksat 5A, the 7,700-pound (3,500-kilogram) satellite slated for launch Thursday night will mostly serve in broadcast roles and cover Turkey, the Middle East, Europe, and portions of Africa. Though 5A and its successor, 5B, are both built by Airbus Defense and Space in France, Turkish officials have had considerable input in the spacecraft's development.
The involvement with Airbus paves the way for Turksat 6A and 6B, which are Turkey's first home-built satellites. The first is scheduled for completion this year and launch providers have not yet been named.
Launch Thursday, Jan. 7
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: Turksat 5A communications satellite
- Launch Time: 8:28 p.m. ET
- Launch Window: Four hours
- Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Landing: Just Read the Instructions drone ship
- Weather: 60% "go"
Quelle: Florida Today