Coast to Coast: Ares I-X Launches, Weather or Not

Click Here to watch the Ares I-X launch. You need Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection.

The weather was once again a factor as NASA tried to launch the Ares I-X. Because this is a test flight, NASA was concerned about a phenomenon that can cause clouds to reflect radio signals to and from the craft. Not only might they lose valuable data, but a self-destruct message might be lost too, which would be a bad day in my neighborhood should Ares be headed in my direction.

With 30 minutes left in today’s launch window, the weather people found a gap in the clouds long enough for Ares to launch. Click here to read CNN’s report on the launch. The video on that page is a NASA compilation, including a camera mounted on the craft’s fuselage.

The above video is shot from my driveway, looking northeast towards Kennedy Space Center and Pad 39-B. You’ll note that the rocket sound doesn’t reach us until nearly a minute after launch; because sounds travels at about one mile every five seconds, that tells you I’m about 12 miles away from 39-B. But less than two minutes into the recording, it gets pretty loud. The house windows were rattling; it reminded me of a minor earthquake back in California.

My “A” camcorder is out for repair, so I had to use an older one with less quality. I lost track of the rocket right after launch because the view finder isn’t all that great. But you get the idea.

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