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Ares X launch boost to rocketry?

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proflaser

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It's been a month since the Ares X launch, the first new NASA rocket in 28 years. From this does anyone see an increase in interest in space exploration or sport rocketry in particular by the public? Do you think we will?
 

shreadvector

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Hmmm. Press coverage...

Yes, I think that Tiger Woods has had an increase in interest.

That silly rocket was weeks ago. The general public has long forgotten it. They are busy shopping for presents and watching scandals on TV.
 

SpaceAXEplorer

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I've wondered about the same thing.
I can't tell if there actually is an increase in how much Space Exploration are covered, or if I've just been paying attention to these events since the Ares-1X launch. ( I was at Space View Memorial Park on the scheduled day, but of course, it launched the next day.)
I have noticed that even BBC has been covering almost every Space Exploration event around the world lately, with good video, including the first New Zealand launch a couple of days ago. I don't remember seeing as much coverage before the Ares launch.
The Shuttle program, with only 5 planned launches left, could also be generating extra interest.
 

AKPilot

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I think some of us forget that the space race will never have the same impact it did in the '50s & '60s, primarily because it was a cold war race - with enormous geopolitical implications.

That and the absolute size of the vehicles themselves.

Even myself being an aerospace enthusiast take a look at the Ares and go - eh. A Delta looks more impressive.
 

Dr.Zooch

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Well... being that I'm the only person in rocketry who is actually marketing an Ares I-X model rocket on a wide, retail basis- I figure I may be qualified to at least answer in that area.

The answer is YES! Sales of Ares I-X kits have been HUGE since the launch. I had to put in two rush orders for custom parts for the kits since the launch- and that is on top of the parts I had stocked up already- expecting a rush.

Now- will this rate continue... of course not. But... the Ares I-X launch was covered and broadcast into places other than the livingrooms of your average gameshow watcher. It was also transmitted into classrooms. Many teachers have equated the launch of a new vehicle to a spark-maker in their students.

If you are looking for a Friendship 7 burst of national interest- you won't get it from the Ares I-X mission. If, however, you are looking for spark- the Ares I-X will qualify... at least until the next ballon-boy story hits the media.
 

Winston

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It's been a month since the Ares X launch, the first new NASA rocket in 28 years. From this does anyone see an increase in interest in space exploration or sport rocketry in particular by the public? Do you think we will?
I would certainly hope so, but I doubt it. Space has become so routine to most people that they hardly pay attention to manned flights let alone new launch hardware that doesn't look, to them, significantly different from previous versions. Unmanned landers like the Mars Exploration Rovers are an occasional exception. Those attract a lot of attention because of their photos of previously unseen places. Same for Hubble photos.
 

RocketT.Coyote

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Well... being that I'm the only person in rocketry who is actually marketing an Ares I-X model rocket on a wide, retail basis- I figure I may be qualified to at least answer in that area.

The answer is YES! Sales of Ares I-X kits have been HUGE since the launch. I had to put in two rush orders for custom parts for the kits since the launch- and that is on top of the parts I had stocked up already- expecting a rush.

Now- will this rate continue... of course not. But... the Ares I-X launch was covered and broadcast into places other than the livingrooms of your average gameshow watcher. It was also transmitted into classrooms. Many teachers have equated the launch of a new vehicle to a spark-maker in their students.

If you are looking for a Friendship 7 burst of national interest- you won't get it from the Ares I-X mission. If, however, you are looking for spark- the Ares I-X will qualify... at least until the next ballon-boy story hits the media.
Well, I certainly bought one.
 

cjl

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I think some of us forget that the space race will never have the same impact it did in the '50s & '60s, primarily because it was a cold war race - with enormous geopolitical implications.

That and the absolute size of the vehicles themselves.

Even myself being an aerospace enthusiast take a look at the Ares and go - eh. A Delta looks more impressive.
I think the Ares is more impressive than a Delta personally. It's certainly bigger. Of course, that's all going to be personal opinion :)
 

Dr.Zooch

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At the rollout they bussed us from the press site to an area right beside the crawlerway. They had the doors to HB3 all the way open and you could see the I-X standing there inside the bay illuminated by just the interior bay lights- It was AWSOME! Everyone on the bus were hardcore spaceflight reporters- (and I don't mean the on-air, come in to stand in front of the camera and say some scripted lines then split to cover Tiger Woods type of reporters- I'm talking VERY hard core... such as the guys who get to go out and set up remote cameras at the the pad and who cover the launches from the VAB roof type of spaceflight media)- and they were even struck by the sight of the I-X.

I was standing about 50 feet from the crawler as it went past coming out of the VAB. As the I-X crossed the threshold of the HB door, they snapped on the Xenon lights- across the entire area you could hear a collective "Wow" and the camers went nuts. As the crawler went past you had to look almost straight up to see the whole vehicle. It was nearly 3a.m. and no one was sleepy. The I-X was only 36 feet shorter than the Saturn V. They kept the lights on until the vehicle went out of useful range down the crawlerway, they they snapped them off and all you could hear was the crawler in the night.

I tell you this because it makes an important point- inspiration is where you find it and where you make it. That night at the rollout, there was NO ONE there from the major TV media or newspapers. Most of the coverage was by those of us on the Internet. So the greater inspiration toward rocketry and spaceflight no longer resides exclusivly on your TV. The cyber media is rapidly taking over a larger share of the responsibility... and we are happy to do so.

Attached is a shot of me at the rollout covering it for aero-news.net. The photo is from NASA PAO

4jim.jpg
 
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SpaceAXEplorer

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I'm going to give Zooch a little boost...

Here's another perspective on the Ares-1X launch day, literally. :D
Val and I got to Space View Memorial Park, at about 5:45AM, and there were AT LEAST 4-5 reporters, and 2 camera crews, and a lot of floodlights! One reporter was doing a TV interview with one couple, and another followed Val and I out onto the dock, as we wanted a view of the Ares away form the lights, because they were messing up the nighttime scene of the floodlit rocket. (she took a terribe photo though).

6:30 a.m.: Crowd growing at Space View
TITUSVILLE -- About 15 people are gathered at Space View Park in Titusville to watch the launch of the Ares 1-X rocket.
Eric Truax and his wife, Valerie, drove from Williston to view the launch. They stood on the end of the pier with binoculars to view the illuminated rocket across the river on the launch pad.
"It's exciting because it's the first new vehicle since the shuttle," said Truax, who arrived at the park at 5:30 a.m. "It's a shame though because there's the possibility it may be the one and only flight."
-- Amanda Stratford, FLORIDA TODAY


As "Z" said, many of the reporters were doing Tweets, net blogs, and online moment to moment reporting. As the day wore on, not only did more reporters show up, and there were 2 folks doing an actual pod cast behind us, and that was just who we could see. Talking to some people who go there for every launch of the Shuttle, I was told that while the park wasn't as full as it is for a shuttle launch, the crowd was respectable.
I personally talked to folks from all over, including 2 guys from Denmark, who were in town for a business conference , and decided to take time out to watch the launch. The amateur photographer I spent most of the day chatting with drove straight down all the way from North Carolina!
Granted the rocket didn't go up that day, but there was definitely "excitement".

If anyone wants tosee what the STS-129 Shuttle flight looked like, and how many people and excitement were present, just from where we were, here's a posting, with pics, about it at one of my favorite paper model sites:

http://www.papermodelers.com/forum/...uttle-sts-129-launch-port-canaveral-view.html

Contrary to the impressions CNN will often leave you with, the world does actually care about the future, Science, Space Exploration and the finest of Human Endeavors and kindness. If you ever visit the Kennedy Space Center, you'll find you can listen to people for as long as a couple of hours, and not hear English, or not hear English with an American accent. Fortunately, Val and I live close enough that whenever we catch each other being overly cynical about Humanity and the future, we can drive over the KSC and get a shot of positive reinforcement, and a smile. :)

As I'm RE-discovering, (with help, a bit late and needing many apologies to many folks), excitement in science, exploration, and anything else, might indeed also be found where you help MAKE it....
 
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Dr.Zooch

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Now that is a great perspective from beyond the press site! Terrific!
 
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