Ares I-X lifts off
...and followed through with a 6-minute suborbital test flight (including 2 minutes of powered flight) that carried the booster stage to a splashdown about 150 miles away. Some 700 sensors on the 327-foot-tall, 1.8-million-pound rocket provided a wealth of tracking and performance data as the Ares I-X reached nearly 3Gs and Mach 4.76 at the behest of 2.6 million pounds of thrust.
NASA offered this additional description: "Four first-stage, solid-fuel booster segments are derived from the Space Shuttle Program. A simulated fifth booster segment contains Atlas-V-based avionics, and the rocket's roll control system comes from the Peacekeeper missile. The launch abort system, simulated crew and service modules, upper stage, and various connecting structures all are original."
February 1, 2010 3:26 PM PST
Photo by: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connel
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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