Feeds

Ares I-X stuck on the pad

Florida weather halts trailblazing launch

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

NASA's Ares I-X is still standing on Kennedy Space Centre's launchpad 39B, following the cancellation of the first trailblazing flight of the Constellation programme.

The Ares I-X on the launchpad earlier today. Pic: NASA TVThe launch was delayed while NASA eyed the skies with suspicion, and a stray cargo ship in the launch danger area prompted a minor scare. Launch Weather Officer Kathy Winters stopped a final countdown due to potential violation of the "triboelectrification rule", and the weather eventually forced a complete scrub.

Launch Test Director Jeff Spaulding said: "We had some opportunities, but just couldn't get there. Weather didn't cooperate."

When the vehicle eventually does make it off the ground (tomorrow, all being well), an active first stage powered by solid rocket boosters will lift a dummy upper stage to an altitude of 40km (25 miles).

Following separation of the two main components, the booster stage is designed to parachute into the Atlantic for recovery by NASA's retrieval ships Freedom Star and Liberty Star, while the dummy elements are consigned to a watery grave.

The Ares I-X flight offers NASA "an early chance to test and prove the new rocket's flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations", while its 700 sensors will enable the agency to "collect data for use in future exploration missions".

Quite what those missions may be remains to be seen, since the future of the whole Constellation programme is in doubt.

The Obama-appointed committee which reviewed the future of the US's human spaceflight programme reported that without a substantial injection of cash, the US's plans to return to the Moon and set its sights on Mars were on a hike to nowhere.

Regarding the Ares I, and its intended use to resupply the International Space Station, committee chairman Norman Augustine suggested it would be better to spend the cash elsewhere rather than "running a trucking service to low-Earth orbit".

NASA's full Ares I-X coverage can be found here and the launch blog here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms
Is that an ARMADILLO in your PANTS or are you just pleased to see me?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.