Feeds

NASA declares Ares I-X test a success

Still not sure about booster 'chute failure

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.