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[b]Service structure, stabilization system retracted[/b]
The rotating service structure (RSS), which protected and permitted access to the Ares I-X rocket, has been rolled away from the mobile launcher platform into its "park" position for liftoff.
The vertical stabilization system (VSS) has also been opened, freeing the clamps that held Ares I-X steady. Only four hold-down posts now restrain the rocket on the platform's surface.
All of the development flight instrumentation -- including the sensitive five-hole probe at the rocket's tip -- have been retested following last night's nearby lightning strikes and all are in good shape.
Launch is currently targeted between 9:00 and 9:15 a.m. EDT.
The weather forecast calls for broken clouds at 24,000 to 27,000 feet, which could be an obstacle to the launch due to the risk it presents for "triboelectrification" -- the potential for a static charge to surround the rocket interfering with communications. Other weather constraints are all "green," or favorable. A weather reconnaissance aircraft will take off at about 7:30 a.m. to deliver firsthand data.
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