Wait for the sea weather

Control and weather forecast for launches from the Space center. Kennedy for the launch pads at Cape Canaveral unit of the U.S. air force, which has several names: 45th weather squadron, 45th space wing or the 45th operations group. She is stationed at the air force base named Patrick near the spaceport, about 40 kilometers South of the launch pad, which was launched by the Crew Dragon.

Specialists of this division provide meteorological data to enable launches from the Space center. Kennedy and Cape Canaveral. On the basis of its observations, the 45th weather squadron provides weather forecasts, recommendations by start date and assesses the potential storm activity. And issue a warning about the boundaries of acceptable weather conditions for a different type of rocket that is scheduled to run.

These constraints are based on the weather criteria for launch, and NASA are calculated for each type of launch vehicle. They are quite detailed and cover the start-up of a detailed list. To feel the depth of this list of limitations, will look at how look weather criteria for launch of the Falcon 9. Start is prohibited if:

  • at the height of 49 meters above the runway platform sustained wind speeds in excess of 56 km/h;

  • the observed wind shear in the upper troposphere — it can cause problems with the control by the booster;

  • during the flight the rocket will go through the cloud layer with a thickness of more than 1400 meters, which is distributed in a zone of negative temperatures;

  • less than 19 kilometers from the site there are Cumulus clouds with tops extending to the zone of negative temperatures;

  • less than 19 kilometers from the ground is the edge of the storm, in which he observed lightning within 30 minutes after the previous lightning;

  • less than 19 kilometers from the site there is a thunderstorm cloud anvil (massive Cumulus cloud top, rasplodivshihsya about the tropopause);

  • less than 9.3 kilometers from the site there are clouds of bad weather extending to the zone of negative temperatures and contain moderate or greater precipitation;

  • less than 5.6 kilometers from the site is the remains of a broken cumulonimbus clouds;

  • the missile will have a flight through Cumulus clouds formed as a result of or directly associated with the smoke plume.

And start needs to be delayed:

  • for 15 minutes, if the readings are measurements of the electric field within 9.3 km from the launch pad exceed +/- 1500 volts per meter,

  • for 30 minutes, if within 19 kilometers from the launch pad or the flight path was observed by lightning.

Limitations in the wind in the surface layer the apparent horizontal wind is of great strength on the launch pad can simply knock down a missile at the moment of its separation from the launch facility. Especially dangerous at this point, squally gusts of wind — a sudden sharp increase in its velocity. When the squally wind in the area launch pad launch missiles today do not produce. But it was not always so.

Low dense clouds can be stormy, bringing the danger of lightning. For the subtropical Florida absolutely normal, not only storm fronts, but individual local vnutridiskovoe thunderstorms, which can occur in relatively calm lower air mass. To protect the missile during maintenance and start-up, around the site of a mast-mounted very high altitude, about 200 meters, with a white 25-foot columns of lightning rods on top. Between the masts stretched into the air, metal wires, covering the space around the head of the rocket conductive ring, assuming a possible lightning strike between the masts.

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