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Ares I-X Launch Image Gallery

Published by Matt on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:24 pm via: source
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Written by Nancy Atkinson

There are some great images of Wednesday’s Ares I-X launch. Most notable is this one of the bow shock that formed around the 327-foot-tall rocket as it went supersonic at about 39 seconds into the flight.

A bowshock forms around the Arex I-X rocket. Credit: NASA

A bowshock forms around the Arex I-X rocket. Credit: NASA

Liftoff of the 6-minute flight test from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida was at 11:30 a.m. EDT Oct. 28. This was the first launch from Kennedy’s pads of a vehicle other than the space shuttle since the Apollo Program’s Saturn rockets were retired.

Launch day. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell

Launch day. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell

With more than 12 times the thrust produced by a Boeing 747 jet aircraft, the Ares I-X test rocket produces 2.96 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. Interestingly, the Ares I-X booster was put together with parts from shuttle boosters that flew on 30 different shuttle missions ranging from STS-29 in 1989 to STS-106 in 2000. Ares I-X weighed 1.8 million pounds, almost twice that of a full 747 airliner.

The space shuttle and Ares I-X. Credit: NASA/Scott Andrews

The space shuttle and Ares I-X. Credit: NASA/Scott Andrews

KSC is a busy spaceport, with the Ares I-X launching and space shuttle Atlantis poised on Launch Pad 39A for liftoff, targeted for Nov. 16. The Ares 1-X is nearly 143 feet taller than the space shuttle stack.

Another view of the launch. Credit: NASA/ Scott Andrews

Another view of the launch. Credit: NASA/ Scott Andrews

The data returned from more than 700 sensors throughout the rocket will be used to refine the design of future launch vehicles and bring NASA one step closer to reaching its exploration goals.

With more than 12 times the thrust produced by a Boeing 747 jet aircraft, the Constellation Program's Ares I-X test rocket roars off Launch Complex 39B. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

With more than 12 times the thrust produced by a Boeing 747 jet aircraft, the Constellation Program's Ares I-X test rocket roars off Launch Complex 39B. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

1 Comments
pllx
The images are very beautiful. What you are seeing on the first image is not the bow shock but the expansion over the shoulder of the nose. Over a shock the temperature increases which does not explain the formation of condensation. In the expansion region the temperature drops and the water vapor in the air condenses.
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