Feeds

NASA declares Ares I-X test a success

Still not sure about booster 'chute failure

Seven Steps to Software Security

NASA chiefs in charge of the agency's next-generation rocket program said on Thursday that their $445 million Ares I-X test flight was a success in proving the launch vehicle's design.

After poring over preliminary data, project manager of Ares I-X test flight Bob Ess said during a conference call with reporters that the rocket's six-minute voyage October 28 demonstrated the viability of its guidance, control, and navigation systems.

Ess also said potentially damaging vibrations on liftoff that were thought to be a major concern were well below expected levels.

There were a few snags that occurred after the launch, however. Foremost was the malfunction of two parachutes designed to make the first-stage booster fall gently into the Atlantic Ocean. Just one of the three main parachutes opened properly after separation, causing major damage to the booster on splash down.

NASA engineers still aren't exactly sure what caused the parachutes to fail, although they do have theory. Systems engineer Marshall Smith said one parachute may have inflated too quickly, causing stress loads on the booster to exceed its limits. That likely tore the shroud lines on the parachute, resulting in the flapping lines damaging the second parachute that opened only partially, he said.

Some cable connectors also failed to separate. And the last 80 seconds of data on the on-board recorder were found to be missing. Recovery of that 80 seconds of data is still in work, although the first 270 seconds will be released internally later this month.

NASA plans to give two additional Ares I-X reports — one in January and another in February 2010.

Ess said space agency hopes to conduct the next Ares I flight test in a 2012 or 2013 timeframe. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.