Friday, October 23, 2009

Live at KSC: Ares I-X launch readiness reviewed

A final readiness review under way today at Kennedy Space Center is expected to confirm plans to launch the Ares I-X rocket Tuesday morning.

A news conference will be held around 5 p.m. today, at the review's conclusion, to announce the flight test's official launch date and time and discuss any issues that have arisen during launch preparations.

Click here to open a NASA TV video player and watch the event live.

The readiness review comes a day after a presidential panel suggested NASA might be better off scrapping the Ares I rocket, which is being designed to launch astronauts after the shuttle is retired following six more flights. Click here to read the committee's final report.

Current policy remains to develop the rocket, which NASA hopes may be ready to launch crews in an Orion spacecraft by 2015, though the panel doubted that timeline.

Managers have said next week's flight test will collect valuable data from more than 700 sensors lining the rocket that will improve the modeling and design of whatever launch vehicle is ultimately chosen.

So far, a KSC spokesman says tests of the 327-foot rocket and launch pad 39B are performing well, but the weather could prove tricky on launch day.

According to Twitter updates, the forecast currently holds a 60-percent chance of wind, rain and clouds combining for unfavorable launch conditions during a four-hour launch window opening at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The Air Force's 45th Space Wing has not released an official forecast.

Additional launch attempts are possible next Wednesday and Thursday, if necessary.

Check back here later for updates on plans for the flight test.

And click here to read NASA's Ares I-X press kit.

The KSC Visitor Complex has a limited number of tickets available for admission on launch morning -- click here for more information.

IMAGE NOTE: The towering 327-foot-tall Ares I-X rocket, newly arrived on launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, rests on its mobile launcher platform following its seven-hour early-morning trek on Oct. 20. The test rocket left the Vehicle Assembly Building at 1:39 a.m. EDT on its 4.2-mile trek to the pad and was "hard down" on the pad's pedestals at 9:17 a.m. Part of the Constellation program, the Ares I-X is the test vehicle for the Ares I. The Ares I-X flight test is targeted for Oct. 27. For information on the Ares I-X vehicle and flight test, visit Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett


Anonymous said...

I predict a successful launch and better than expected performance of the rocket! We need this launch vehicle to demonstration to the doubters and the flat earthers that NASA and the USA are still the leaders in high technology and are willing to take the bold steps necessry for the advancement of mankind.

Graham said...

Yes i echo that comment,there are risks but there always are with any launch and it's an (X craft a test)and the risk is an order of magnitude higher.

Success to the NASA team,shut the detractors up !!. Fly high Ares 1X.!!.

Graham said...

Well that was simply brilliant.!!! It flew like a dream.Right on the plan .! Well done NASA.