Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Ares I-X rocket completes successful flight test

NASA's Ares I-X test rocket lifted off at 11:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a 2-minute powered flight.
Provided by NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Ares I-X test rocket launch
The Constellation Program's Ares I-X test rocket roars off Launch Complex 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA/Jim Grossmann
October 28, 2009
NASA's Ares I-X test rocket lifted off at 11:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a 2-minute powered flight. The test flight lasted about 6 minutes from its launch from the newly-modified Launch Complex 39B until splash down of the rocket's booster stage nearly 150 miles down range.

"This is a huge step forward for NASA's exploration goals," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Ares I-X provides NASA with an enormous amount of data that will be used to improve the design and safety of the next generation of American spaceflight vehicles — vehicles that could again take humans beyond low Earth orbit."

The 327-foot tall Ares I-X test vehicle produced 2.6 million pounds of thrust to accelerate the rocket to nearly 3 g's and Mach 4.76, just shy of hypersonic speed. It capped its easterly flight at a sub-orbital altitude of 150,000 feet after the separation of its first stage, a four-segment solid rocket booster.

Parachutes deployed for recovery of the booster and the solid rocket motor will be recovered at sea for later inspection. The simulated upper stage, Orion crew module, and launch abort system will not be recovered.

Related blog: Contributing Editor Mike Reynolds shares firsthand account of historic launch
0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
BoxProductcovernov

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook

Loading...