At the weather station on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a meteorological data specialist releases a low resolution flight element rawinsonde to support the countdown for the flight test of NASA's Ares I-X rocket.
A GPS-tracked weather balloon, a rawinsonde has a tethered instrument package which radios its altitude to the ground along with atmospheric data such as temperature, dewpoint and humidity, and wind speed and direction. Rawinsondes can reach altitudes up to 110,000 feet. For information on the Ares I-X vehicle and flight test, visit http://www.nasa.gov/aresIX. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller