Feeds

Ares I-X 'in great shape' to fly

Launch tomorrow, weather permitting

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

NASA's Ares I-X rocket will, weather permitting, blaze a trail for the agency's Constellation programme tomorrow, lifting off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B.

Launch Test Director Jeff Spaulding said yesterday: "I'm very happy to report that we are tracking no problems and the vehicle is in great shape."

The Ares I-X on the launchpad. Pic: NASA

There's a four-hour launch window between 12:00 and 16:00 GMT, although NASA estimates a "40 per cent chance that the weather on Tuesday morning will cooperate". If it doesn't, NASA will go for a launch on Wednesday, during the same time frame.

The test flight - featuring a dummy upper stage - will allow NASA to "test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I". The first stage solid rocket boosters will carry the Ares I-X to an altitude of 40km (25 miles). The booster stage will parachute into the Atlantic for recovery, while the dummy stage will come down with an almighty splash.

The Ares I-X mission profile. Graphic: NASA

NASA remains upbeat about the Constellation programme, despite growing criticism of the project. Following the release of the final report (pdf) of the committee tasked with reviewing the future of the US's human spaceflight programme, chairman Norman Augustine expressed doubts that the Ares I actually serves any useful purpose.

He said of the planned use of the vehicle to supply the International Space Station: "We think NASA would be better served to spend its money and its ability, which is immense, focusing on going beyond low-Earth orbit rather than running a trucking service to low-Earth orbit."

NASA's main Ares I-X coverage is here, there's a fact sheet here (pdf) and the mission specs are here (pdf). ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.