Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NASA set to launch Ares I-X rocket prototype Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s Ares 1-X rocket prototype rolls out to launch Pad 39B last week at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. After lifting off, the rocket, carrying about 700 sensors that will transmit data back to Earth, will travel 28 miles into space.

Getty Images

NASA’s Ares 1-X rocket prototype rolls out to launch Pad 39B last week at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. After lifting off, the rocket, carrying about 700 sensors that will transmit data back to Earth, will travel 28 miles into space.

A new rocket more than 100 feet taller than the space shuttle stands on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, ready to blast off this week. It's called Ares I-X, and it could become a key part of the U.S. space program's future. Or, it could be scrapped. Even before its first launch, a NASA advisory last week questioned its worth. The rocket was built because space shuttles are scheduled to stop flying after 2010, or possibly 2011, once astronauts finish building the International Space Station. Next, NASA wants to return humans to the moon, and possibly send them on to Mars. For this, the space agency is designing a capsule-type spacecraft called Orion. It would launch on the new Ares rocket. However, the advisory panel said last week that NASA would need billions more money each year for this ambitious plan to explore space. Without it, continuing the development of this Ares rocket, and another similar one, might not make sense, the panel said. But the Ares I-X prototype is still scheduled for liftoff. If all goes well, the rocket will launch between 8 a.m. and noon Tuesday. As it soars 28 miles high, about 700 sensors will transmit data back to the ground. NASA will use this information if it continues to develop the rocket.

The lower stage of Ares I-X is a four-segment solid rocket booster, similar to the two white pencil-shaped rockets used to help lift space shuttles into orbit.

The upper stage on this prototype will not function. But in the actual version, the upper stage would contain supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for fuel, also like the space shuttle.

• The upper stage engine of the completed rocket is partly modeled on engines in the Saturn V rockets that sent astronauts to the moon.

• The capsule on this test rocket is another mock-up. In the actual version, the capsule containing the astronauts would parachute back to Earth and land on U.S. soil.

Take a look: From the Tampa Bay area, look east and a bit to the north at launch time, and you may be able to see the rocket launching, depending on cloudiness. Check tampabay.com for updates.

NASA set to launch Ares I-X rocket prototype Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center 10/25/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 26, 2009 12:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  2. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.

  3. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  4. Baker fundraiser all about "Seamless City"

    Blogs

    Rick Baker kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night at the Morean Arts Center making light of his 40-minute announcement speech two weeks ago on the steps of City Hall.

    Rick Baker speaks at a fundraiser at the Morean Arts Center Tuesday
  5. How did Florida National Guard miss soldier's neo-Nazi leanings?

    Military

    Brandon Russell, a private first class assigned to Company C of the 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Pinellas Park, has been in the Florida National Guard since February, 2016.

    Brandon Russell, 21, of Tampa, is a Florida National Guardsman accused in a federal complaint of illegal possession of explosives. [From YouTube]