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[b]NASA Brings the Ares I-X Flight Test Rocket to Life[/b]
The Ares I-X team at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida has reached a significant milestone with the first electrical power-up of the test rocket on Sept. 11. Ares I-X and its simulated crew module and launch abort system are assembled on a mobile launcher platform at Kennedy in preparation for its targeted Oct. 31 flight test.
Power-up is the first application of power to all of the electronics boxes, including avionics, sensors and thrust vector control system, since the rocket segments arrived and were stacked at Kennedy. Testing ran for three days and concluded Sept. 14. The boxes were all powered up individually in Denver, but had not been tested since installation in the rocket with actual flight cabling.
"Powering up a new vehicle and having all of the systems 'talking' to each other is always a challenge. The power-up was a tremendous success, with all of the systems functioning nominally," said Bob Ess, Ares I-X mission manager.
The Ares I-X is wired with more than 700 sensors to gather data during the two-and-a-half minute flight test. The launch will provide NASA an early opportunity to test and prove hardware, facilities and ground operations. The data collected during the launch will allow NASA to gather critical data for Ares I and future launch vehicles.
[i]In the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a time lapse camera documented the buildup of the Ares I-X flight test rocket. The first video was on Nov. 3, 2008 and the final video was on Aug. 30, 2009.[/i]
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