August 17, 2009
Ares I-X test rocket ready for flight test
NASA says it has assembled the Ares I-X rocket for an October test flight, marking the first time in more than 25 years a new space vehicle has been assembled.
The stacking of the Ares I-X rocket, its simulated crew module and launch abort system was finished Thursday in the space agency's Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, completing the 327-foot launch vehicle and providing the first look at the finished rocket's distinctive shape.
More than three years of hard work with the NASA and contractor team has brought us to this historic moment, Bob Ess, Ares I-X mission manager, said.
This flight test is a critical step in continuing our design process for the Ares vehicle and the first flight for the Constellation Program.
The Ares I-X is wired with more than 700 sensors to gather data during the 2 1/2-minute flight test, providing NASA an early opportunity to test and prove hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I crew launch vehicle.