28 October 2009
In case you missed it, this morning NASA launched the Ares-1X test rocket from Cape Canaveral. It was originally supposed to launch yesterday morning, but was delayed due to: a stuck cable, a boat that got within the danger zone where the rocket was expected to splashdown, and my new favorite vocabulary word “triboelectrification”. Triboelectrification is the build-up of charge due to friction, and there was apparently some concern that clouds could cause enough charge to build up to mess up communications with the rocket.
Finally, today a cloud-free patch opened up and the rocket launched beautifully. Now the question is whether NASA will continue with the Ares rocket or choose a different launch architecture, based on the results of the Augustine commission’s report.