Headlines > News > Ares I-X Test Flight Is Really Taking Shape Now

Ares I-X Test Flight Is Really Taking Shape Now

Published by Matt on Wed Aug 5, 2009 8:43 am via: source
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Yesterday, yet another portion of the Ares I-X rocket was stacked on the Mobile Launch Platform in Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building. Now that super stack 1 is up and on, the 327-foot rocket is more than half way assembled and the team is getting excited as they watch it take shape in High Bay 3.

Super stack 1 is composed of the fifth segment simulator, forward skirt, forward skirt extension, frustum and interstages 1 and 2. It also includes two internal elements – the roll control system and the first stage avionics module – as well as the parachute system housed in the forward skirt extension. The team used a massive overhead crane, specially adapted for I-X use, to place it on top of the forward motor segment.Over the next month, four more super stacks with the final pieces of hardware (including the simulated crew module and launch abort system) will be mated, finishing off the stacking operations for the rocket. So, in about a month, NASA is going to be able to show off one of the biggest rockets the world has ever seen!

Ares I-X is scheduled to roll out to launch complex 39B just four days prior to its targeted liftoff of October 31.

Ares I-X Really Taking Shape Credit:NASA

Ares I-X Really Taking Shape Credit:NASA

Ares I-X Really Taking Shape Credit:NASA

Ares I-X Really Taking Shape Credit:NASA

3 Comments
danielw
It'd be a shame for NASA to be told to retool now. I am not the biggest fan of solid rocket boosters, but the design will work and we should keep moving forward instead of second guessing.
ben
The design will work most of the time, if you don't mind violent shaking. Some of the time it will explode and kill everyone with no chance of escape.

If the astronauts and no one else in Nasa value the lives of the astronauts, and the politicians don't care either, that's fine. But if killing astronauts results in shutting down the program for months or years, as it has every time in the past, that's not so great.
danielw
The shaking issue has been addresses, and the SRBs have an excellent track record. Again they are not my first choice, but they only failure they have recorded, the challenger disaster, would not be catastrophic in the Ares 1 configuration.

They don't blow up, even some of the time. The main problem is that they don't turn off if there is trouble. The Launch abort tower helps mitigate that risk. It is a good design.
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