Third Time Lucky, The Falcon Has Kept Its Date With The Sunset

At last the Falcon 9 soared up to the skies. It took 3 tries for the glorious rocket to light up the dusk with its powerful booster aiming for the deep space. The unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying with it a weather satellite, was off and roaring like an arrow just released from its bow going straight into the heart of the atmosphere from its launching pad in Cape Canaveral.

Problems with an Air Force tracking radar and poor weather conditions had previously forced the postponement of the launch. It was slated to take off last Sunday but had to be postponed on Monday  and and again had to be postponed for today. The first postponement  was due to a technical reason and the second one was more likely due to the weather condition. This was the third try and it went off smoothly.

With all the technical problems having been resolved, the night bird can’t be denied of its rightful task anymore. The project will monitor solar wind variations to warn weather forecasters of imminent distortions that may affect satellites, power sources and communication systems.

“Located in line between the sun and the Earth, DSCOVR will be a point of early warning whenever it detects a surge of energy that could trigger a geomagnetic storm destined for Earth,” Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service Stephen Volz, Ph.D., said.

“According to the National Academies of Sciences, a major solar storm has the potential to cost upwards of $2 trillion, disrupting telecommunications, GPS systems, and the energy grid. As the nation’s space weather prediction agency, when DSCOVR is fully operational, and our new space weather forecast models are in place, we will be able to provide vital information to industries and communities to help them prepare for these storms.”

The DSCOVR mission is a shared partnership between NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

Launch services for the mission were financed and supervised by the Air Force, which marks the first Falcon 9 mission to launch for the Department of Defense.


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