In kind of an ironic twist, the Aeolus mission which will study the winds on Earth, the mission start has been delayed by – winds.
New launch date: 22 August 2018
Launch time: 18:20 French Guiana / 21:20 UTC
The image shows Aeolus in the tower prior to being mounted atop the rocket that will launch into orbit. Image courtesy ESA/CNES /Arianespace.
From ESA: Wind conditions in the atmosphere along the launcher’s trajectory are among the flight safety elements taken into account for every Arianespace mission. With this one-day postponement, the liftoff of Flight VV12 is now set for August 22 at exactly 6:20:09 p.m., local time in French Guiana.
The mission with Aeolus will be performed with a Vega launcher – provided by prime contractor Avio of Italy – marking the 12th flight of Arianespace’s light-lift vehicle since entering service at the Spaceport in February 2012.
Both the Vega launcher and its Aeolus payload for Flight VV12 are in stabilized configurations and under fully secure conditions at the Spaceport’s Vega Launch Complex.
Aeolus is a European Space Agency-organized mission to provide much-needed data in improving the quality of weather forecasts and contributing to long-term climate research. Built by Airbus Defence and Space, the satellite carries a laser Doppler wind LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system called Aladin that will probe the lowermost 30 km. of the atmosphere in measuring winds around the Earth.
Yes, launches plural, not something that happens very often! I will post a replay when available.
First we have the Ariane 5 ES rocket – VA244,- launching four Galileo satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation constellation.
Live Replay coverage below begins at 11:10 UT / 07:10 ET for a 11:25 UT / 07:25 ET launch from ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana:
A few minutes later from Vandenberg Air Force Base California US, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the Iridium 7 NEXT mission delivering 10 Iridium NEXT satellites using the tried and true Falcon 9 rocket.
Launch time: 11:39 UT / 07:39 ET. Space X generally begins coverage about 15 minutes before launch. Update, SpaceX always gives great information in those minutes before launch – fast forward to the 21 minute-mark in the video for the launch.