Share this article:
NASA's Parker Solar Probe— the space agency's new spacecraft designed to "touch the sun" — is packed up, buckled in and ready to launch during a window opening Saturday (Aug. 11) at 3:33 a.m. EDT (0733 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, according to a NASA news conference today (Aug. 9).
The weather is the team's only lingering concern, agency staff said. Right now, there's a 70-percent chance that the weather will cooperate for a Saturday morning launch, Air Force weather officer Kathy Rice said during the news conference.
Given Florida summer weather patterns, the team is concerned about the potential of thunderstorms, although that risk is lower in the early-morning hours. Rice also said local personnel will monitor the risk that the launch itself could trigger lightning strikes.
Saturday's launch window will remain open for about 65 minutes, Omar Baez, launch director at KSC, said during the news conference. If the launch were to occur after that time, he and his colleagues are concerned that the spacecraft could potentially be damaged while flying through the Van Allen radiation beltsthat surround Earth.
A launch rehearsal conducted yesterday (Aug. 8) went smoothly, Baez said, and he will receive a final weather briefing tomorrow (Aug. 10) at about 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT on Aug. 11) to determine whether to fuel up the rocket in hopes of targeting Saturday morning's launch window.
Hundreds of dead fish were discovered on Interstate 40 when floodwaters receded following Hurricane Florence.
A cool start to autumn will give way to increasing warmth and humidity across the Northeast in the coming days.
The formation of Subtropical Storm Leslie and Tropical Depression Kirk may only be the start of a busy next couple of weeks in the tropical Atlantic.
The newest storm in the western Pacific Ocean will track through the Philippine Sea, continuing to gather strength before impacting land later in the week.
Following a brief lull in tropical weather across the Atlantic Basin, several areas of interest have developed this weekend, including the season's newest named storms.
The start of Oktoberfest 2018 is upon us and big changes in the weather are expected for the opening days of festivities.
The same storm system that produced deadly flooding in Texas late last week will channel rounds of heavy downpours into the lower Mississippi Valley throughout much of this week.
The NASCAR Playoffs will continue tonight at the Richmond Raceway amid warm and potentially unsettled weather.