Just in time for Halloween, problems with the Ares booster have resurfaced to haunt NASA. Oh, this one’s a doozy: a modest wind off less than 13 miles per hour could send the booster slamming into the launch pad at takeoff. The Orlando Sentinel‘s Space Editor, Robert Bloch, has the scoop.
Meanwhile, The Huntsville Times reports that agency officials are downplaying the problem:
“The head of NASA’s Ares rocket program defended the design of the launch vehicle Monday, dismissing critics that claim it would be unstable at launch.
“Recent published reports say the Ares rocket could drift during launch because of winds, striking the tower. However, all rockets move during launch, said Steve Cook, manager of the Ares program at Marshall Space Flight Center.”