NASA Spacecraft Hardware Begins Journey Down Ohio River


Cleveland--Full-scale components of the Ares I-X test rocket designed and manufactured at NASA's Glenn Research Center will be showcased during a briefing for media on October 22 at 3:30 p.m. EDT at the Wellsville Intermodal Facility in Wellsville, Ohio, prior to their journey down the Ohio River.

As part of the briefing, media representatives will be able to view one of the components being offloaded from a flatbed truck onto the Delta Mariner vessel docked on the Ohio River. Eleven of these components make up the upper stage simulator of the Ares I-X test rocket and represent the size, outer shape and mass of the second stage of the Ares I rocket being developed by NASA as the first vehicle of its new launch system.

The components are bound for the Kennedy Space Center in Fla. After a 12-day journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and into the Gulf of Mexico, they will arrive at Port Canaveral, Fla. for integration with the other parts of the Ares I-X vehicle for launch in 2009.

The components represent the completion of the first manufacturing activity at Glenn of a full scale space launch vehicle demonstrator in two decades.

Glenn's Deputy Director, Ray Lugo and Columbiana County Port Authority's CEO Tracy Drake will welcome media and others to the event. Vince Bilardo, project manager for the Ares I-X upper stage simulator at Glenn, will brief attendees about Glenn's work in completing the hardware and will show a video simulation of the Ares I-X flight test.

News media wishing to attend this event should contact Katherine Martin or the Media Relations Office at 216-433-2901 by 4:30 p.m. on October 21.

Ares I-X will be the first flight test vehicle of NASA's next generation launch vehicle system. The Constellation Program is building America's next spacecraft in order to return to the moon, establish an outpost there and eventually move beyond to Mars and other destinations in the solar system. Constellation includes the Orion crew exploration vehicle, the Ares launch rockets and the Altair lunar lander. The first flight of Orion to the International Space Station is scheduled for no later than 2015, with the first lunar mission occurring no later than 2020.

For more information, visit:

http://exploration.nasa.gov

For more information about Glenn, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/

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