Liftoff: NASA's Ares 1-X Rocket Passes First Test

The Ares was meant to be simpler, cheaper and more reliable than the shuttles. If it ever carries astronauts, they will be in a cone-shaped capsule on top of the rocket -- considered safer than the shuttles, which are attached to the side of their external tanks and have often been hit by debris falling from the tanks during launch.

The 2003 Columbia tragedy was believed caused by foam from the fuel tank, coming off and damaging the shuttle's wing.

Ares 1-X Reaches the Sky

Ares has been plagued by cost issues. The Constellation program to replace the shuttles, of which the Ares rockets are a part, was originally slated to cost $28 billion, but may ultimately reach $44 billion -- if it continues as currently planned.

When Ares was first conceived during the Bush administration, NASA expected it would be launching crews by 2012. But an independent White House panel, chaired by former aerospace executive Norman Augustine, said last week it would be surprised if an Ares carried astronauts before 2017. The Augustine Commission said one option, among many, for the Obama administration would be to cancel the Ares 1 and look for alternatives.

ABC News' Gina Sunseri contributed reporting from the Kennedy Space Center.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 8935832. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 8935832. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 8935832. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 8935832. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 8935832. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 8935832.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Bud and June Runion vanished while going to meet someone to buy a vintage car they found on Craigslist, authorities said. | Inset: Jay Towns is seen in this booking photo provided by Telfair County Sheriffs Office.
Courtesy of family | Telfair County Sheriffs Office
PHOTO: From left, Tom Brady in Foxborough, Mass., Jan. 18, 2015 and Russell Wilson in Seattle, Wash., Jan. 18, 2015.
Matt Slocum/AP Photo | Ted S. Warren/AP Photo
PHOTO: An illustration of Kepler-444 and its five Earth-sized planets.
Tiago Campante/Peter Devine
PHOTO: Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Edith Baneth, age 88, poses in her home, Dec. 1, 2014
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images