Ares 1-X, the prototype of the rocket to replace the space shuttle for carrying astronauts into space, is launched on its short test flight from Kennedy Space Center at 11:30 a.m. on 28 October 2009. Various images show the vehicle in flight; top left shows the shockwave as the vehicle goes supersonic, the bottom four images show separation of the live first stage solid rocket motor from the Upper Stage Simulator. The SRM is to be recovered via parachutes while the dummy upper stage was allowed to crash into the Atlantic Ocean. The approximately six minute flight had the following seemingly successful objectives according to the NASA press release:
- - -Demonstrate controllability of new launch vehicle dynamically similar to Ares I
- - -Assembly and recovery of new launch vehicle
- - -Demonstrate parachute performance and booster entry sequence
- - -Characterize in--flight roll characteristics
- - -Perform stage separation of new launch vehicle
The goal of a development flight test is to gather information to improve analysis capability and design activities for future rockets.
Success Criteria
- - -Successful rollout to launch pad
- - -Rocket safely clears the launch pad
- - -Rocket remains within the determined flight profile
- - -Collect flight data that can be used to improve the design of future launch vehicles
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