Ares 1-X Test Model Ready
The Ares 1-X test rocket is ready and is just about the same shape, size and weight as the real thing would be, believe NASA officials. As the $360 Million test flight is all set to launch on Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Center, scientists at the world renowned center are one step closer to their hope of someday launching a new, manned Orion Spaceship.
The test flight comes at a crucial time as the Obama administration considers whether to continue the Ares 1 Rocket Program or not. NASA believes that even if the Ares 1 is canceled, this flight is very crucial. "It's been a long time since NASA built a new vehicle," said mission manager Bob Ess. "The whole purpose of this test is to get information so we understand and can correlate our computer models. From that, we learn how to use that data for the next launch vehicle".
While there are critics who are questioning the worth of this test flight, there are others who consider this an important step. The Ares 1-X test flight will give engineers a clearer picture of what to expect when the real thing is launched, including an idea about how much the rocket might roll due to the corkscrewing of gasses flowing out of the tube.
"One of the primary objectives of this Ares 1-X flight it to get an idea just how much margin there is in the controllability using this design," said Charlie Precourt, the former astronaut who is Vice President and General Manager for Ares contractor ATK Launch Systems. "We're getting a huge insight into what this vehicle's going to be able to do", he added.
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