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Delta II to Launch NASA’s SMAP Mission

(UPDATE: Jan. 29, 2015, 7 p.m. PST) NASA's SMAP launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta II has been delayed to a targeted launch date of Jan. 31 pending completion of minor repairs to the vehicle prior to launch. During inspections following the Jan. 29 launch attempt, minor debonds to the booster insulation were identified. These insulation debonds are associated with cryogenic conditions experienced during tanking operations and a standard repair will be implemented. The launch time for Jan. 31 is 6:20 a.m. PST.

Delta II SMAP Mission ArtworkDelta II SMAP Mission Brochure

A Delta II 7320 will launch the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission for NASA.

Date/Site/Launch Time: Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Launch is planned for 6:20 a.m. PST.

Mission Description: SMAP will provide the most accurate, highest-resolution global measurements of soil moisture ever obtained from space and will detect whether the ground is frozen or thawed. The data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.

Launch Notes: SMAP will mark the 52nd Delta II mission for NASA. It will be the second of 13 planned ULA missions in 2015.

Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at, and

Go Delta! Go SMAP!



Jan. 20, 2015: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the third Mobile User Objective System satellite for the United States Navy. MUOS-3 will ensure continued mission capability of the existing Ultra High Frequency Satellite Communications system that will provide improved and assured mobile communications to the warfighter.