Mar 14, 2009

Ares 1-X Test Flight Video

This great computer graphics vidieo shows the upcoming flight of NASA's Ares 1-X experimental flight demonstrating the feasibility of the Ares 1 launch vehicle, which NASA is developing as a replacement for the Space Shuttle to transport astronauts into space.

The 1X flight will include a simulated upper stage to measure the relevant parameters of the rocket's flight. In the video we see the burn of the first stage, the separation, and the recovery of the first stage. Included is a nice sequence of the staged parachute opening, which is done to ensure a more gradual decelaration of the empty stage as it returns to earth.

The single solid rocket booster on the first stage of the Ares 1 is a stretched version of the human-rated solid rocket motors that are currently used to power the lift-off of the Space Shuttle. In the case of the Shuttle, these boosters are designed to be recovered from their ocean landing site and re-used in later flights. NASA is also interested in using the same approach for Ares 1.