The preparation for the launch of Atlas 5 rocket is in full swing by the United Launch Alliance crews at the Cape Canaveral. The scheduled launch is 7:13 pm EDT on Saturday, and it will fly with a 41 launch pad, five Aerojet Rocket dyne boosters and a Russian made RD-180 main engine.
Along with this Atlas 5 have a military communication payload, free-flying spacecraft hosting, and multiple pentagon funded experiments which includes a daughter satellite. At the inception, the Atlas 5 rocket will run a marathon for 6 hours till the geostationary orbit, the place over the equator where Atlas will take advantage of the orbital dynamics to fly over a fixed position on earth.
Based on a report from an Air Force spokesperson the Saturday’s launch will be extended till 9:11 pm EDT.
The launch of Atlas will have certain changes in the climatic condition in Florida. It is expected that an approaching cold front will make the weather condition worst over the space coast on Sunday morning.
On Saturday the day for Atlas 5 to blast off the high pressure will continue to migrate to the east as the cold front will move ahead to the gulf coast states in the morning. An air force officer wrote news in the Friday edition of outlook that the moisture will be very less during the morning time, but may increase in the evening. The daytime heat may result in limited showers in the evening, but there is no expectation of a thunderstorm.
The temperature during the launch of Atlas 5 will be around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and the primary concern during the launch is the cloud.
After Atlas 5 is firmly placed on the launch pad, the mobile platform was scheduled to plug into the ground. The rocket was loaded with RP-1 kerosene fuel on Friday afternoon before the launch on Saturday.
The United Launch Alliance team is now executing the work in the final stage like testing the telemetry transmitters, safety mechanisms, and filling the launcher’s upper stage with a cryogenic moisture of liquid and oxygen. Atlas 5’s RD- 180 main engine will also consume liquid oxygen along with the RP-1 fuel.
Another interesting fact which got revealed is that three satellites will be fastened inside the cone of Atlas 5 before the launch on Saturday.