The launch team continues to monitor severe weather in the Kennedy Space Center area surrounding Launch Complex 39B. Earlier tonight a lightning tower was hit and crews are currently assessing any impact.
The lightning protection system consists of three towers approximately 600 feet tall that work together to protect the missile from lightning strikes. The team will provide an update once the severity of the hit and a plan for moving forward have been determined.
Forecasters with the US Space Force Delta 45 launch currently predict favorable weather conditions for tanks on April 3. There is currently less than a 5% chance of lightning occurring within five nautical miles of the launch pad. Weather restrictions state that there must be less than a 20% chance of lightning strikes within 5 nautical miles of the platform during the first hour of tanker transport. Forecasters also predict there will be a 10% chance of 23+ knot winds on April 3, when the impoundment begins. The wind must not exceed 37.5 knots and the temperature must not drop below 41 degrees fahrenheit.
I’m a science journalist and host of Cosmic Controversy (brucedorminey.podbean.com) as well as author of “Distant Wanderers: the Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System.” I primarily cover aerospace and astronomy. I’m a former Hong Kong bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and former Paris-based technology correspondent for the Financial Times newspaper who has reported from six continents. A 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA), I’ve interviewed Nobel Prize winners and written about everything from potato blight to dark energy. Previously, I was a film and arts correspondent in New York and Europe, primarily for newspaper outlets like the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and Canada’s Globe & Mail. Recently, I’ve contributed to Scientific American.com, Nature News, Physics World, and Yale Environment 360.com. I’m a current contributor to Astronomy and Sky & Telescope and a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Twitter @bdorminey