GoreSat, officially known as the Deep Space Climate Observatory, is ready for its launch on Sunday at 6:10 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The forecast suggests less than 10% chance of postpone in the launch due to weather conditions. Mike McAleenan, launch weather officer from the Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron stated “I think we should be in a very, very low threat of violation for a spectacular sunset launch.” SpaceX, the California-based company led by billionaire Elon Musk, will be launching the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket carrying the 1,250-pound satellite.
In the year 1998, the then-Vice President Al Gore had proposed this $340 million mission and he is expected to be present during the launch. Stephen Volz, assistant administrator of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service in Silver Spring, Md commented “This has been a long time coming.” NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Air Force have collaborated for the mission.
The satellite will be heading towards a destination, located 1 million miles away from Earth. It will be monitoring solar outbursts that might cause disruption on Earth. After the main booster completes the lifting job, it is expected to fly to a platform floating nearly 400 miles off the Florida coast. SpaceX had attempted such a landing once before but could not succeed.