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  Ares I-X: Rollout to Pad 39B (photo gallery)

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Author Topic:   Ares I-X: Rollout to Pad 39B (photo gallery)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-20-2009 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ares I-X rollout to Pad 39B

The Ares I-X test flight vehicle began its slow roll toward Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 12:39 a.m. CDT on October 20.

The 4.2-mile trip is expected to take about eight hours with the rocket arriving at the pad by about 8:30 a.m. CDT, where it will be prepared for its launch targeted for October 27.

The total weight of the Constellation Program rocket, space shuttle mobile launcher platform, and Apollo crawler-transporter is 16 million pounds.

The Ares I-X test flight was designed to provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with its planned Ares I crew launch vehicle.

Click on photos to enlarge.


Credit: collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-20-2009 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ares I-X arrives at Pad 39B

Ares I-X reached Pad 39B at about 7 a.m. EDT and, atop its crawler-transporter, ascended the ramp to the pad surface.

The mobile launcher platform with the rocket attached was lowered and secured on the pad at 9:17 a.m. EDT.

Click on photos to enlarge.


Credit: collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-20-2009 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA's Ares I-X Rocket Arrives at Launch Pad in Florida

For the first time in more than a quarter century, a new vehicle is sitting at Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ares I-X flight test vehicle arrived at the pad atop of a giant crawler-transporter at approximately 7:45 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 1:39 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 4.2-mile journey. The rocket was secured on the launch pad at 9:17 a.m.


Credit: NASA TV

The vehicle is scheduled to launch at 8 a.m. on Oct. 27. This test flight of the Ares I-X rocket will provide NASA an early opportunity to test and prove hardware, models, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I launch vehicle.

The Ares I rocket is being designed to carry astronauts to space in the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The Ares I-X test flight also will allow NASA to gather critical data during ascent of the vehicle's integrated stack, which includes the Ares I with a simulated upper stage, Orion and launch abort system. Data collected from more than 700 sensors throughout the rocket will begin to confirm the vehicle as a whole is safe and stable in flight before astronauts begin traveling into orbit.

"With the arrival of Ares I-X at the pad, this milestone demonstrates NASA's world-class ability to conceptually design, build and process a new launch vehicle in just under four years," said Bob Ess, mission manager for Ares I-X at Kennedy. "Nearly 2,000 NASA and contractor employees located throughout the United States worked together in an unprecedented fashion, resulting in the new vehicle ready for flight."

During the week before launch, technicians at the pad will perform a variety of electrical and mechanical checks to ready the vehicle for flight, including hydraulic power unit hot fire, steering tests and internal power verifications using flight batteries.

United Space Alliance of Houston is NASA's prime contractor for the ground processing of the Ares I-X rocket.

"Processing for the Ares I-X test flight in parallel with space shuttle operations has been a true challenge involving people and hardware from across the country, and we're very proud of what the team has accomplished," said Mark Nappi, vice president of Launch and Recovery Systems for United Space Alliance.

ATK Space Systems of Magna, Utah, is NASA's prime contractor for the first stage of the rocket.

"The NASA and contractor teamwork displayed over the last four years has been the catalyst that brought us to this important milestone today," said Bob Herman, ATK's vice president of Exploration Systems for Kennedy Space Center Operations. "As the Ares I first stage provider, we are looking forward to receiving invaluable data during the flight test."

At the Flight Test Readiness Review on Oct. 23, mission managers will finalize the launch date and provide the team with a final "go" or "no go" for launch.

Ares I-X is an un-crewed, sub-orbital development test in a modified Ares I configuration. Ares I-X is the first developmental flight test of the Constellation Program, which includes the Ares I and V rockets, Orion and the Altair lunar lander.

mikej
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From: Germantown, WI USA
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posted 10-20-2009 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone else find the paint scheme on the first stage reminiscent of that on the Redstone missile test series?

Scott
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posted 10-20-2009 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the pics, Robert. Can't wait for the test.

RISPACE
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From: Warwick, RI USA
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posted 10-20-2009 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RISPACE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes! Finally, Ares I-X on its way to the pad. Great pictures. It's the beginning of a new era. Looking forward to the launch next week. Looking at the vehicle, it kind of reminds me of the anticipation I felt for the launch of Apollo for the ASTP mission.

dogcrew5369
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posted 10-20-2009 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't wait to see a photo of Atlantis and Ares I-X both on their respective pads. That will be an iconic transitional image.

jdcupp
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posted 10-20-2009 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jdcupp   Click Here to Email jdcupp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These pictures bring back feelings I haven't had since the early Apollo days. The anticipation of "going to the moon someday", the witnessing of Apollo in its early developmental stages, early Saturn I flights with the Pegasus satellites in the guise of block I Apollo stacks--I just wish the current popular culture was as excited now as we were then.

dtemple
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posted 10-20-2009 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Ares I-X launches as scheduled on Oct. 27 it will do so on the 48th anniversary of the first Saturn I (SA-1) launch.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 10-20-2009 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had forgotten about that! Wernher must be smiling somewhere!

Point of fact is that the first rollout of a shuttle to the launch pad was Enterprise in 1979(?). That makes this one the first in thirty years!

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-20-2009 08:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct, the first shuttle rollout here at Kennedy was the Enterprise OV-101 launch vehicle "stack" on May 1, 1979 as a "pathfinder" vehicle used for fitting and structural checkout tests to prepare the pad for the launch of shuttle Columbia OV-102.

Orbiter Columbia, attached to her flight-ready fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters, was first rolled out to Pad 39A on Dec. 29, 1980.

The very first "rollout" occurred on May 25, 1966 with AS-500F, another "pathfinder" vehicle. But this one was of an Apollo Saturn V moon rocket that had a dummy Apollo spacecraft atop with no lunar module inside.

Apollo 4 (AS-501) was the first "real" Saturn V launch vehicle rollout that was transported to Pad 39A on Aug. 26, 1967.

It would take more than 13 months from the AS-501 rollout to when the first rollout of a manned mission, Apollo 8 (AS-503), would take place on Oct. 9, 1968.

Apollo Redux
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posted 10-20-2009 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Still not a fan, but those are terrific pics, and I hope for a smooth flight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-21-2009 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
Apollo 4 (AS-501) was the first "real" Saturn V launch vehicle rollout that was transported to Pad 39A on Aug. 26, 1967.
With credit to Wes Oleszewski, it is interesting to note that when Ares I-X rolled out, it weighed over three times as much as the Saturn V during the same activity.
  • S-I-C: 300,000 pounds
  • S-II: 95,000 pounds
  • S-IVB: 34,000 pounds
  • IU: 4,500 pounds
  • Apollo Adapter: 4,050 pounds
  • Apollo Spacecraft plus LEM and LES: 65,220 pounds
Total is 502,770 pounds (totals change slightly with different vehicles and missions), versus Ares I-X at 1.8 million pounds.

Of course, once at the pad, the Saturn V was loaded with 6.2 million more pounds of propellant.

edmk5000
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posted 10-21-2009 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's interesting to see that the MLP still has the shuttle hold-downs.

star51L
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posted 10-23-2009 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star51L   Click Here to Email star51L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dogcrew5369:
I can't wait to see a photo of Atlantis and Ares I-X both on their respective pads. That will be an iconic transitional image.
The Kennedy Media Gallery just posted several showing both Ares and the Shuttle in the same image.

All times are CT (US)

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