The maiden test flight of NASAs next-generation launch vehicle, Ares I-X has been scrubbed for today (Tuesday) due to adverse weather conditions at the Cape. Flight Director Ed Mango is currently meeting with his senior staff to decide if a second attempt will be made tomorrow or Thursday.
All systems on the launch vehicle were nominal as the countdown was held at the four minute mark for several hours while launch control waited for the weather to clear. At one point a cargo ship blundered into the no-go area of the Atlantic Ocean downrange of the launch site and also threatened the launch.
Shortly before the end of the vehicle’s launch window at 1530 UTC, Launch Test Director Jeff Spaulding instructed the launch team to begin safing the vehicle and set up for a recycle of the countdown.
“We had some opportunities, but just couldn’t get there,” Spaulding said. “Weather didn’t cooperate.”
The flight test will provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I.