From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009
Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X
Launch Date: Targeted for no earlier than August 30
Launch Pad: 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Ares I-X Flight Hardware
This week's milestones include:
- Super Stack 1 assembly is now complete with the attaching of the forward assembly to the fifth segment simulator. Stack one is made up of eight individual pieces: interstages 1 and 2, the frustum, the forward skirt extension, the forward skirt and the aft, center and forward segments of the fifth segment simulator. It also includes two internal elements, the roll control system and the first stage avionics module.
- The aft assembly, which comprises the aft skirt and aft motor segment, was moved from the Rotation Processing and Surge Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building. It was lifted onto the Mobile Launcher Platform in High Bay 3, signifying the beginning of stacking operations.
- The aft center motor segment also was moved from the Rotation Processing and Surge Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building and attached to the aft assembly in High Bay 3.
- Camera installed on the upper stage simulator
Last week milestones completed include:
- Aft assembly closeouts
- VAB High Bay 3 stacking preparations
Next processing milestones:
- Instrumentation testing
- Stack 1 modal test
A series of sensors strategically located throughout the stack will measure the amount and direction of movement, as the electro-mechanical shakers impose random loads to determine the rocket segment's first several bending modes. A comparison will be made between predicted and measured mode shapes to verify the flight dynamics model.
- Forward center motor segment stacking
Ares I-X Ground Support Equipment
- At Launch Pad 39B, modification are ongoing.
The gaseous vent arm, beanie cap and orbiter access arm have been removed. The vehicle stabilization system is being built at the base of the launch pad. The Ares I-X flight test will provide NASA an early opportunity to check and prove hardware, analysis and modeling methods, and facilities and ground operations needed to develop the Ares I, which is NASA's next crew launch vehicle. The test also will allow NASA to gather critical data during the ascent of the integrated stack, which will help inform the design of the Ares I rocket and the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The data will ensure the entire vehicle system is safe and fully operational before astronauts begin traveling in it to the International Space Station and moon.
For more information about the Ares I-X flight test, visit:
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