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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Ares I-X: Launch preparations and updates

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Author Topic:   Ares I-X: Launch preparations and updates
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-23-2009 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Official Launch Date to be Set Today

Today, the Ares I-X Flight Test Readiness Review is under way at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At the conclusion of the review, the selection of an official launch date will be announced during a live news conference on NASA TV, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. EDT. October 27 currently is the targeted launch date.

A few miles away at Pad 39B, technicians are conducting a second day of integrated systems tests. Today's checkouts involve the launch pad and ground systems, and ground support equipment.

On Thursday, the rocket was fully tested, including a successful "hot fire" of the auxiliary power units. The rotating service structure was opened in the afternoon and will be moved back into place after an evening test of the Xenon lights is completed tonight.

A countdown simulation with full launch team support is set for Saturday, with vehicle closeouts scheduled for Sunday.


Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-23-2009 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The weather forecast for an Oct. 27 launch of the Ares I-X test is currently 40% go.
Summary of Launch Weather Rules for Ares I-X

Do not launch...

  • if the wind at the launch pad exceeds 20 knots.

  • if the temperature at the launch pad exceeds 95 degrees F, or is below 36 degrees F.

  • through precipitation, or clouds containing precipitation.

  • through upper-level conditions containing wind shear that may lead to vehicle control problems.

  • through or within five nautical miles of a cloud layer greater than 4,500 feet thick that extends into freezing temperatures, unless other specified criteria have been met.

  • through or within five nautical miles of cumulus clouds with tops that extend into freezing temperatures, unless other specified criteria have been met.

  • within 10 nautical miles of the edge of a thunderstorm that is producing lightning strikes for 30 minutes after the final lightning strike has been observed.

  • for 30 minutes after lightning is observed within 10 nautical miles of the launch pad or the flight path, unless other specified criteria have been met.

  • if field mill instrument readings within five nautical miles of the launch pad or the flight path exceed +/- 1,500 volts per meter for 15 minutes after they occur, or +/- 1,000 volts per meter if specified criteria are met.

  • through a thunderstorm anvil cloud. If the cloud is within 10 nautical miles of the flight path, do launch for 30 minutes after the last lightning strike has been observed.

  • through thunderstorm detached anvil clouds or debris clouds for up to three hours, unless specified field mill measurements and radar requirements are met.

  • within 10 nautical miles for 30 minutes after anvil detachment has occurred, or after the last lightning strike has been observed in the detached anvil.

  • through disturbed weather with clouds that extend into freezing temperatures and contain moderate or greater precipitation.

  • within five nautical miles of disturbed weather within the flight path, unless specified criteria can be met.

  • through clouds formed as the result of or directly attached to a smoke plume.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-23-2009 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Gives 'Go' for the Ares I-X Test Rocket Launch on Oct. 27

NASA has completed a review of the Ares I-X development rocket's readiness for its flight test and selected Tuesday, Oct. 27, as the official launch date. Liftoff is scheduled for 8 a.m. EDT from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Ares I-X launch date was announced after a flight test readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the test and determined the rocket, support systems and procedures are ready for launch.

"I am proud of the work this team has done to ready this test rocket for launch," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. "This is the first time in more than 30 years that NASA has built a vehicle in a new configuration so this has been a valuable learning experience.

"This test will yield important data to support the nation's next steps in exploration. There is no substitute for hard data - flight testing clarifies the distinction between imagined outcomes and real flight experience."

The 28-mile high, two-minute flight of the Ares I-X, an uncrewed development rocket, will provide NASA with an opportunity to test and prove hardware, facilities and ground operations, while gathering critical data for the Ares I rocket and future launch vehicles.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-26-2009 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I-X Building on NASA's Famous First Flights


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-26-2009 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Weather Remains the Question for Ares I-X Launch Tomorrow

During this morning's Ares I-X status briefing, the launch team reported that the vehicle is ready to go, even if the weather may not be. Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported that there remains a 60 percent "no-go" tomorrow, but an improving 40 percent "no-go" during Wednesday's window.

Launch preparations continue on schedule, heading toward an 8 a.m. EDT liftoff tomorrow. Overnight at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B, technicians installed the flight door on the fifth segment simulator. This morning, the sound suppression water system tank at the pad was filled with 300,000 gallons of water.

Launch preparations also are under way a few miles from the pad in the Launch Control Center's Young-Crippen Firing Room. In addition, at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Mission Director’s Center, the Launch Vehicle Data Center and the telemetry lab are being configured for launch.

The launch team's "call to stations" will come at 12:30 a.m. tomorrow, with the seven-hour countdown beginning at 1 a.m.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-26-2009 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The sun sets behind Ares I-X on the eve before its scheduled launch.

Click on photos to enlarge.


Credit: collectSPACE

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-26-2009 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Ares I-X Liftoff Set for Tomorrow Morning

The Ares I-X flight test vehicle is poised on Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39B and is ready to fly. The launch team reports no issues with the 327-foot rocket, the world's largest at present.

The only spoiler when tomorrow morning's launch window opens at 8 a.m. EDT might be the weather. Currently, there is only a 40 percent chance of favorable weather during the window, which extends until noon. The team will have the same four-hour window for a launch attempt on Wednesday if Tuesday's liftoff is scrubbed, and Wednesday's weather shows a slight improvement to 60 percent "go."

The launch team of approximately 30 members will have their "call to stations" at 12:30 a.m., leading into the beginning of the seven-hour countdown at 1 a.m. EDT.

All times are CT (US)

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