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viernes, 23 de octubre de 2009

Ares I-X: El Vehículo de Prueba se mueve a la Plataforma de Lanzamiento



From NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I'm George Diller.

The doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building opened for a new rocket design for the first time in almost 30 years as NASA debuted the Ares I-X flight test rocket on Oct. 20.

Riding atop one of the crawler-transporters that carried Saturn V rockets and space shuttles to their launch pads, the tall, thin flight test vehicle began a 4.2-mile journey to Launch Pad 39B at 1:39 a.m.

About 7 1/2 hours later, at 9:17 a.m., the mobile launcher platform was secured on a pedestal at the launch pad.

The pad, which has hosted dozens of shuttle launches, was modified recently to handle the I-X. At 327 feet, the new rocket is significantly taller than a shuttle stack, which measures 184 feet when standing for liftoff.

The Ares I-X is a one-of-a-kind craft designed to test the first stage of NASA's new rocket. It carries a simulated upper stage and spacecraft, along with hundreds of sensors.

The flight test is expected to return enough data to tell engineers how the rocket behaves during the first minutes of flight.

That data will be used to help design rockets for future exploration.

From Kennedy Space Center, I'm George Diller.