|Posted on Oct 27, 2009 08:59:58 AM | Dan Kanigan | |||
The skies look clear except for some high clouds,
there’s no rain in the immediate forecast, so why might a rocket not launch?
The answer is something called triboelectrification. While this isn’t a word
you encounter every day, you might experience it if you walk across a dry
carpet or brush up against a cat and then touch a metal surface: it’s static.
In the case of Ares I-X, flying through high-level clouds can generate
“P-static” (P for precipitation), which can create a corona of static around
the rocket that interferes with radio signals sent by or to the rocket. This
would create problems when the rocket tries to transmit data down to the ground
or if the Range Safety Officer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station needed to
send a signal to the flight termination system. Until the 45th Space Wing and
observer aircraft indicate that the skies are clear, Ares I-X will wait them
Tags : General