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Mission Briefing

Mission preview - Our story looking at the MESSENGER project and its launch.

Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.

Launch windows - Listing of the daily launch times for MESSENGER to lift off.

Weather forecast - The latest forecast for launch day conditions.

Ground track - See the trajectory the rocket will follow during its flight.

MESSENGER - Technical description of the probe's instruments and systems.

Science objectives - Overview of MESSENGER's scientific goals to provide a better understanding of Mercury.

Mercury - Fast facts about our solar system's innermost planet.

Delta 2 rocket - Overview of the Delta 2-Heavy 7925H-model rocket used to launch MESSENGER.

SLC-17 - The launch complex where Delta rockets fly from Cape Canaveral.

Delta directory - See our coverage of previous Delta rocket flights.

Launch weather forecast
Posted: August 2, 2004

 Forecast for Tuesday, August 3

Issued: Monday, August 2
Launch Weather Officer: Joel Tumbiolo, 45th Weather Squadron

Synoptic Discussion: "Tropical Storm Alex is forecasted to slowly move northeast over the next 24 hours, then more quickly after that. During the day on Monday, again expect showers and thunderstorms to initially develop over western Florida. Southwest winds will result in the storms moving eastward across the state, arriving in the area by mid afternoon. The main concern will be the conditions at the time of MST Rollback.

"During the launch window, any activity should be offshore, with the main concern again being residual anvil and thick layered clouds."

Clouds: Scattered at 3,000 feet with 3/8ths sky coverage and tops at 10,000 feet; Broken at 12,000 feet with 4/8ths sky coverage and tops at 15,000 feet; Broken at 28,000 feet with 6/8ths sky coverage and tops at 30,000 feet

Visibility: 10 miles

Launch Pad Winds: Southwesterly from 240 degrees at 8 gusting to 12 knots

Temperature: 78 to 80 degrees F

Relative Humidity: 90 percent

Weather: Showers and Thunderstorms in the vicinity offshore

Probability of Violating Weather Constraints: 30 percent

Concerns: Anvil Cloud Rule, Debris Cloud Rule, Thick Cloud Rule, flight through precipitation





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