Kennedy News

Amber Philman
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

July 20, 2009
Ares I-X Status Report
Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X
Launch Date: No earlier than August 30, 2009
Launch Pad: 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Ares I-X Flight Hardware
This past week's milestones include:

- Forward center motor segment stacking

- Final of four motor segments stacking

- Stack 1 modal test
    A series of sensors strategically located throughout the stack will measure the amount and direction of movement, as the electro-mechanical shakers impose random loads to determine the rocket segment's first several bending modes.

- Instrumentation testing

Last week milestones completed include:
- Super Stack 1 assembly complete.
    Stack one is made up of eight individual pieces: interstages 1 and 2, the frustum, the forward skirt extension, the forward skirt and the aft, center and forward segments of the fifth segment simulator. It also includes two internal elements, the roll control system and the first stage avionics module.

- Aft center motor segment was moved from the Rotation Processing and Surge Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building and attached to the aft assembly in High Bay 3.

- Camera installed on the upper stage simulator

Next processing milestones:
- Forward segment stacking

- Flight instrumentation testing ongoing

Ares I-X Ground Support Equipment
- At Launch Pad 39B, modification are ongoing.
    The vehicle stabilization system is being built at the base of the launch pad.

The Ares I-X flight test will provide NASA an early opportunity to check and prove hardware, analysis and modeling methods, and facilities and ground operations needed to develop the Ares I, which is NASA's next crew launch vehicle. The test also will allow NASA to gather critical data during the ascent of the integrated stack, which will help inform the design of the Ares I rocket and the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The data will ensure the entire vehicle system is safe and fully operational before astronauts begin traveling in it to the International Space Station and moon.

For more information about the Ares I-X flight test, visit:

Previous status reports are available at:

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