High upper level winds put a damper on hopes for launching the GRAIL mission on its first attempts on Thursday, September 8. While the weather looked perfect on the ground at Kennedy Space Center, weather balloons showed high winds in the region of the atmosphere where the Delta 2 launcher would normally experience the most turbulence.
NASA will try again on Friday, September 9 with two one-second launch windows available at 8:33 and 9:12 EDT (12:33 or 13:12 UT). There were two one-second launch windows for Thursday, and both were “red” because of the winds aloft.
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The dynamic duo twin-spacecraft Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission is designed to map the Moon’s gravity with extreme precision.
For more information on the mission, read our preview article by Ken Kremer.