Launch Aid

Air Force officials broke ground last month on a new weather radar system for the Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. The new radar will replace the range’s 1970s-era WSR-74C radar and will help the 45th Weather Squadron better support space launch operations by monitoring for severe weather such as tornados and lightning. The WSR-74C is “getting very expensive and hard to maintain,” said Walt Damewood, range system support manager for the Space and Missile Systems Center. The new radar, scheduled for delivery to the range in the spring 2010, will be “much easier to maintain,” he said. (SMC report by Patrick J. Carr)