NASA today successfully tested the agency’s next-generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system, called Ares I-X. The flight test provided NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I.
The Ares1-X is a 327-foot tall rocket and this is the first time a new vehicle has launched from the Kennedy Space Center complex since the first space shuttle launch in 1981. The mission lasted two minutes during which time constant data was received from the rocket.
At about the T+2 minute point in the flight, the upper stage simulator and first stage separated at approximately 130,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The unpowered simulator will splash down in the ocean. The first stage was then fired for a controlled ocean landing with parachutes that allow recovery by one of NASA’s booster recovery ships, while the other ship tracks the upper stage.