NOAA’s DSCOVR launched yesterday on February 11th, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The spacecraft is fitted with several instruments, including two from NASA, that will measure conditions on Earth as part of the agency’s continuing work to evaluate the planet’s climate. (See Video Below)
SpaceX is still tracking towards a 6:03pm ET liftoff of DSCOVR, but unfortunately we will not be able to attempt to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9.
The drone ship was designed to operate in all but the most extreme weather. We are experiencing just such weather in the Atlantic with waves reaching up to three stories in height crashing over the decks.
Also, only three of the drone ship’s four engines are functioning, making station-keeping in the face of such wave action extremely difficult.
The rocket will still attempt a soft landing in the water through the storm (producing valuable landing data), but survival is highly unlikely.