Following a flight test readiness review, NASA has given the ‘all systems go’ for the Ares I-X maiden test flight on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 8 a.m. EDT from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “I am proud of the work this team has done to ready this test rocket for launch,” said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. “This test will yield important data to support the nation’s next steps in exploration. There is no substitute for hard data – flight testing clarifies the distinction between imagined outcomes and real flight experience.”
This is the first time in more than 30 years that NASA has built a vehicle in a new configuration. The uncrewed test flight last two minutes, and go 45 kilometers (28 miles) in altitude. The stages will separate 69 km (43 miles) down range and end 236 km (147 miles) over the Atlantic Ocean, with the dummy upper stage landing in the ocean.
The flight will be broadcast on NASA TV. Watch it online here. In the meantime, here’s a pre-launch video to whet your appetite for a new rocket.