Fine Structure

Ares I-X is on the Launchpad

Next week is a big week for NASA. The Ares I-X has been rolled out to the launch pad (39B, retrofitted from a shuttle launch pad to one that supports the huge height of the I-X) and is scheduled to make its first big flight on Tuesday (the 27th of October) at 8am Eastern. The I-X is an unmanned test rocket that is the precursor to the entire Constellation program. If this launch goes well, engineers and scientists will have the data they need to move closer to the next generation of launch vehicles for the United States.

At the same time, NASA waits for a report from the Augustine Commission. The commission was created to evaluate the Constellation plan as put into place by the last administration. Constellation could potentially be completely scrapped as soon as next week, regardless of the I-X success or failure. It's an interesting time to be watching our space program, for sure.

http://www.universetoday.com/2009/10/20/ares-i-x-at-the-launchpad/ ]

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