Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A New White Candlestick Shines on Pad 39-B

After over three years of planning and construction, a brilliant white candle stick shines a top launch pad 39-B at this hour.

Under gray clouds and a brisk wind, the future of America's space flight arrived at it's ocean side launch pad this morning as it prepares for lift-off next week.

The Ares 1-X vehicle a top the mobile launcher platform was officially hard down a top launch pad 39-B at 9:17 am EDT today. Over the next few hours, pad technicians worked to connect the rocket to power sources and connect a stabilization collar near the upper mid section. Upcoming at about 12:40 pm, the rotating service structure will be moved around the rocket as it helps provide weather protection and access to avionics sections, too.

The candlestick's 4.2 mile slow trek from the massive Vehicle Assembly Building out to Pad 39-B was the first time a non-space shuttle stack has occupied the pad. Launch pad 39-B has launched such notable flights as the Apollo 10 lunar orbital flight; Apollo 18 which linked up with the Russian Soyuz in 1975; and the ill-fated Challenger launch in 1986.

Launch of the Arex 1-X remains set for this Tuesday morning, October 27, at 8AM EDT. If lift-off is scrubbed, NASA's Kennedy Space Center launch team have both Oct. 28 and 29th booked on the eastern test range.

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