Ares I Rocket Passes Important Design Milestone
NASA successfully completed the preliminary design review for the new Ares I rocket in 2008. Starting in 2015, the rocket will launch the Orion crew exploration vehicle, its crew of four to six astronauts, and small payloads to the International Space Station. The rocket also will be used as part of missions to explore the moon and beyond in coming decades. The preliminary design review is the first such milestone in more than 35 years for a U.S. rocket that will carry astronauts into space. The review examined the design of Ares I to confirm the planned technical approach will meet NASA's requirements for the fully integrated vehicle and ensure all of the rocket's components and supporting systems are designed to work together. NASA is preparing for the rocket's first test flight in 2009. Hardware for the test flight, including the forward skirt and the upper stage simulator, began arriving at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida this fall.
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