Saturday, September 10, 2011

Close Call

First launch window at 8:29:45 am ET. 80% favorable weather.

L-1:59 - 6:30 am weather is GREEN
L-1:02 - 7:27 am weather is RED
L-0:24 - 8:05 am weather is GREEN
L-0:08 - 8:21 am weather is RED

Main concern up to this point is upper level winds

Configuring to 2nd launch window at 9:08:52 am ET.

Anvil clouds had begun to form at this point which was also a concern.

L-0:14 - 8:54 am weather is GREEN
L-0:08 - 9:01 am final GO/No GO poll comes back a GO
L-0:02 - 9:06 am final verification is given
L-0:00:13 - 9:08 am GREEN weather board. GRAIL is GO for launch!
L-0 - 9:08:52.775 LIFTOFF of GRAIL atop a Delta II 7920H-10 headed to study the moon!

As you can see from above, GRAIL finally made it off the ground on the 6th launch window and my last chance as my plane left several hours after liftoff.

It was a rocky road to launch but GRAIL made it off the ground. Everything has performed flawlessly since. Fingers crossed it will stay that way.

Orbital insertion for GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B on December 31 and January 1, respectfully.

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