Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The future of the American human space flight program debuted early this morning as a new, white 327-foot rocket began it's roll out to the launch pad to prepare for a new decade of space travel.
First motion of the crawler transport carrying the Ares 1-X rocket began at 1:39 am EDT, this morning -- 98 minutes later than planned due to this being the first rollout of this new rocket.
The 1.8 million pound rocket inched at a slow rate as it traveled the 4.2 miles from high bay 3 in the massive Vehicle Assembly Building out to launch pad 39-B this morning.
On Thursday, the Ares 1-X launch team in firing room 1 will run through a practice countdown in preparation for the launch test.
The Ares 1-X launch is set for 8AM EDT on Tuesday, October 27th. The launch window will last four hours.
After Ares 1-X clears the tower six seconds following launch, it will head east and fly up to 28 miles before separating it's first stage booster rocket some 244 statue miles down range.
The future of the new Constellation program calls for the next unmanned flight, Ares 1-Y, in 2014, and a third test flight called Orion 1 which will see the module achieve orbit shortly after 1-Y's success.