Atlas V launch carrying UCF experiment set for Tuesday
The forecast is excellent for Tuesday night's planned launch of International Space Station supplies atop an Atlas V rocket, with an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions.
The United Launch Alliance rocket, which will carry a UCF-led experiment, is targeting an 11:05 p.m. liftoff, at the opening of a 30-minute window at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41.
There's a small chance that cumulus clouds could pose a problem. The odds are the same if the launch slips to Wednesday.
The 19-story Atlas V, which will be launching for the 62nd time, is scheduled to roll to its pad Monday morning with an unmanned Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft packed with about 7,500 pounds of food, equipment and experiments.
Among them will be Strata-1, a creation of UCF’s team of professors and undergraduate research assistants from the Center for Microgravity Research. It will investigate how microgravity affects the movement of the layer of dust and soil that covers rocks, asteroids and even the moon, also known by scientists as regolith.
The mission is Orbital ATK's fifth of 10 planned through 2018 under a NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract.
ULA's launch readiness review on Friday morning concluded with a "go" to proceed toward a Tuesday countdown.
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