Practice Makes Perfect

The Ares I-X Launch Team spent the day in the firing room preparing for the upcoming launch. The team conducted a simulation of the last 50 minutes in the launch countdown.

Now this is no walk in the park simulation. The team was thrown different scenarios and issues that could come up during the actual launch countdown, including issues that could ultimately cause a launch delay. In fact, this specific set of simulations was focused on problems that the sim (simulation) team knew would prevent a launch in order to give the I-X launch team practice on handling emergency and stressful situations. All of this is designed to identify any problems in the countdown planning process and any vague areas in the launch commit criteria while stressing the team beyond what we ever expect to see on a real launch day. Sounds like fun, huh?

The simulation required support from Kennedy’s Firing Room 1, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Hangar AE, the Software Integration Lab, or SIL, and team members from multiple NASA Centers. This was the first simulation with the entire team. The next simulation is planned for the end of September and will include the Launch Advisory Management Team.