What an amazing day yesterday and today was looking even better. We started with more briefings by NASA administrators and then the SpaceX Preflight brief. The only concerning statement was that weather was looking iffy and they were predicting a 50% chance of scrub. Unfortunately we got the unlucky end of that 50% and the launch was postponed, but the rest of the day was amazing.
The Space X Launch Pad Tour
We got to visit the CRS-4 launch pad just before the Falcon 9 was transitioned to vertical. The remote cameras were being set up with audio triggers to catch the launch and the rest of us just enjoyed the view.
Delta IV Horizontal Integration Facility
We also stopped at the United Launch Alliance (ULA) vehicle assembly building. The Delta IV they were prepping for launch will be used on the December 4th launch to test the Orion capsule. The facility has one of the flattest floors in the world with only 3/8ths of an inch variation over the entire surface. (the nature photographer in me needs to point out that if the Delta IV HIL has an average variance of .00125 inches per foot then we should compare it to one of the flattest natural locations, the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley which has an average variance of only .0001 inches per foot.... gravity wins!) Lots of selfies were taken in front of the main engines.
Launch Pad 39B
Amazing to get the chance to walk around for 30 minutes on launch pad 39B. They are in the middle of retrofitting it for the new clean pad concept, where all of the rocket support structure will be wheeled out with the rocket to reduce set up time. Its wonderful to think of the history here, all of the Space Shuttle and Apollo launches that had there starting point from this landmark.