Weather problematic for Tuesday launch at Wallops

Preparations continue for Tuesday night's planned launch of a four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. But the forecast carries a 60 percent risk of showers and

thunderstorms during the evening launch window.

If weather or some other issues scrub the launch attempt Tuesday evening, they'll try again nightly through July 10, except for a three-day window around the planned launch of the shuttle Atlantis from Cape Canaveral, in Florida. That's still scheduled for July 8. NASA's Wallops tracking systems are needed for shuttle launches, which fly up the East Coast.

Forecasters say the storms are due ahead of a cold front that's expected to cross the region Tuesday. That will bring us cooler (low 80s) and drier weather for the balance of the workweek. If so, a delayed launch would have a better shot at liftoff starting Wednesday night.  The weekend looks headed for the 90s, with a return of showers and storms, as high pressure moves off the coast. 

Once skies are clear and the Minotaur launch goes ahead, the rocket's climb toward orbit with an Air Force ORS-1 battlefield imaging satellite aboard could be visible from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and as far west as West Virginia. Here's our weekend story on the project, in case you missed it.

If you're not at the beach this week, and you can't make the drive down to Wallops Island on Virginia's Eastern Shore (or even if you can), you can follow the launch preparations via Webcast, Twitter and various other media. Here, on the jump, are the specifics, which didn't make it into Saturday's print story. 

(PHOTO: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport - MARS)

Launch status information

NASA Wallops: 757 824-2050

NASA Wallops Radio: 760 AM

Twitter: @NASA_wallops

Launch webcast (1:30 p.m.):

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