A Delta 2 rocket has lifted off from California’s Central Coast on Saturday with a NASA environmental satellite designed to improve flood and drought forecasts, map moisture in Earth’s soils, and track the planet’s water cycle.
NASA, United Launch Alliance and Air Force officials hold the pre-launch news conference for the Delta 2 rocket with the agency’s SMAP environmental satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Jan. 27.
From weather forecasting to agricultural benefits, a new NASA mission launching this week will provide unprecedented resolution, accuracy and coverage of soil moisture on a world-wide basis every three days for the next three years.
The Delta 2 rocket and the SMAP spacecraft passed the Flight Readiness Review today that assessed the progress of work and granted approval to proceed with loading the storable hypergolics into the second stage.
Installation of the Delta 2 rocket’s nose cone was completed Tuesday in the cleanroom of Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 2 gantry as preparations continue for the SMAP mission’s liftoff next Thursday.