MSL Launch Weather Criteria

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Summary of the launch weather criteria for Atlas V/Mars Science Laboratory.

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MSL Launch Weather Criteria

  1. 1. Summary of Launch Weather Criteria for Atlas V/Mars Science LaboratoryDo not launch if the Do not launch ifwind at the launch pad field mill instrumentexceeds 33 knots. readings within five nautical miles of the launch pad or the flightDo not launch if the path exceed +/- 1,500ceiling is less than volts per meter for6,000 feet or the 15 minutes after they occur, or +/- 1,000 voltsvisability is less than per meter if specified4 nautical miles. criteria can be met.Do not launch through Do not launch if anupper-level conditions attached thunderstorm anvil is within 10, 5,containing wind shear or 3 nautical miles ofthat could lead to the flight path, unlesscontrol problems for the time-associated criterialaunch vehicle. specified for these three distances can be met.Do not launch throughor within five nautical Do not launch if amiles of a cloud layer detached thunderstormgreater than 4,500 feet anvil is withinthick that extends into 10 nautical miles or if within 3 nauticalfreezing temperatures, miles or fly throughunless other specified a detached anvilcriteria have been met. The Mars Science Laboratory inside the fairing that is being installed unless specific time- around it. associated criteriaDo not launch through have been met.or within five to 10 miles of cumulus clouds with Do not launch if a thunderstorm debris cloudtops that extend into freezing temperatures is within 3 nautical miles or fly through a debrisunless specified conditions and distances can be cloud for three hours unless specific criteria havemet. been met. Do not launch through disturbed weather thatDo not launch within 10 nautical miles of the has clouds that extend into freezing temperaturesedge of a thunderstorm that is producing lightning and contain moderate or greater precipitation,for 30 minutes after the last lightning is observed. or launch within five nautical miles of disturbed weather within the flight path unless specifiedDo not launch for 30 minutes after lightning is criteria can be met.observed within 10 nautical miles of the launch Do not launch through cumulus clouds formedpad or the flight path unless specified conditions as the result of or directly attached to a smokecan be met. plume unless specified criteria are met.

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