Feeds

Ares I-X stuck on the pad

Florida weather halts trailblazing launch

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.