The Atlas 5 with the secret space plane payload X-37B for mission OTV 3 is now sitting on top of launch pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ready for launch.
The rocket was rolled out to the launch pad on top of the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) yesterday followed by an entourage of supporting vehicles providing temporary systems support until the rocket was locked in place at the launch site and hooked up to the services on the pad (known as Hard Down). The service vehicles then retreated leaving the Atlas V sitting on the launch pad going through a series of procedural system checks prior to the planned launch today.
Currently the weather is not looking too good. The weather officer is predicting a 70% chance of conditions preventing the launch. This is because a front is moving through Central Florida at the moment. The front is only moving slowly so the odd of launching on Wednesday remain the same.
However on the brighter side of things there is a 5 hour window for the launch starting at 1:03pm EST and extending to 6:30pm (18:03 to 23:03 GMT). This means that should a hole in the weather open up there should be plenty of opportunity to capitalise on it and get the launch in.
Yesterday we were on the launch pad setting up our remote cameras and took the opportunity to grab a few pictures of the Atlas V and OTV 3 on the pad.
Continue to see our launch pad photo gallery…