Welcome to the New Ares I-X Blog!


A few of us who work here at NASA on the Ares I-X team thought this blog would be a nice way to keep America and the world informed about the Ares I-X rocket and the first steps into NASA’s next generation of space travel. We’ll post news and information about progress and program milestones, but we’ll also try to give a behind-the-scenes peek at how a new rocket gets put together.

So what is the Ares I-X rocket? It is the first flight test vehicle for the next generation of NASA spacecraft –the Ares I rocket. In fact, the Ares I-X rocket has been built to resemble the size, shape and weight of the Ares I rocket so that NASA engineers will get valuable information that will help them design and fly the new rocket. Additionally, NASA gets a chance to test and prove launch operations on the ground that they’ll need for the new kind of rockets.

We put together this video to explain a little more about the Ares I-X and its mission. You can view it here in streaming Windows format.

The Ares I-X is first in a series of at least 6 vehicle flight tests scheduled by NASA to help get ready for the new Ares I. Launch of the Ares I-X is scheduled for later this year from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Stay tuned to this blog for more info and updates. As always, you can check out the Ares I-X web site at:



23 thoughts on “Welcome to the New Ares I-X Blog!”

  1. there is no return mode. every launch is a kamikaze mission. NASA views its astronauts as disposable robots. the astronauts themselves are insulated from this truth.

  2. Nice blog…

    These videos are a fantastic way to keep the public informed. They are very well done. Please continue them!


  3. @Guest #2

    Actually, the Ares I-X will not carry any astronauts since it is a flight test only. On the I-X rocket, the upper stage and the crew module and launch abort system (the top parts of the rocket) are mock-ups. They will separate from the first stage and fall into the Atlantic Ocean and won’t be recovered.

    You can find out more about how the crew module recovery will work on the Ares I rocket here:


    good question.

  4. I personally do not believe that this is really the proper way to go back to the Moon. We have Deltas and Atlases. I don’t see the purpose to build yet another rocket of that type. We should better use a Delta, or an Atlas.

  5. Good day,
    I must congratulate on good idea with this blog – will certainly help us keep on track all the news about Ares I.

    I’d like to start with a question, too. The LEO payload for Ares I is to my knowledge a value close to 25 tons, which is very similar to Delta IV Heavy.

    My question would be – if You consider the mass, wouldn’t it be possible to create an unmanned version of Ares I, and use it to deliver high-mass cargo to LEO and – more importantly – payload to GTO? Wouldn’t such system be cheaper than Delta IV Heavy?

    And I wonder if GTO burn would require additional third stage (or by enlarging second stage tanks), cutting some numbers from those 25 tons mentioned aboove? Or would standard second stage suffice? As far as I know it’s only used to reach LEO, leaving the rest to Orion’s main engine. So I’d place my bet on enlarged tanks, since J2X is restartable.

  6. Love the videos – great stuff.

    Two questions. Seems like there is some debate about whether the Ares programme will be reviewed by the new President and possibly cancelled in favour of developing an existing system. What’s the inside view on this?

    Secondly – when is the Ares 1-X scheduled to actually launch the first test flight.

    Many thanks.

  7. Hi, thanks for the blog.

    Is the functional part of the motor on the Ares I-X the same as the SRBs used on the Space Shuttle? I seem to remember reading that the Ares I first stage motor, when it’s in its final form, will have higher thrust (burning its propellant faster) than the present Space Shuttle SRBs.

    thanks again,

  8. Great blog, and it appears NASA will go with a single pad option for LON for Hubble repair. If that is the case then the July test launch should happen on schedule, very exciting.

  9. A quick question Dan when you get the time to answer it.

    Ares V is currently planned to be a 188mt launcher, there is enormous amount of work that would need to be done, not to mention the cost to get such a behemoth to fly. A lot of people are worried that it will be to expensive to fly the Ares V and in the end, end up like Apollo did.

    Why not decrease Ares V to a 8.4m tank, use 5 segment SRBs with 5 engines? You’d be able to lift nearly 135mt and would be considerably cheaper to develop and operate.

    Would NASA be willing to look at such a design?

  10. Good to see NASA making more of an effort to get the word out about this rocket! My only suggestions would be to embed the video on your page (say YouTube) as not everyone has windows media player on their computer (Linux and Mac fans especially).



    Would you also mind debunking some rumors/concerns regarding the rocket? This would be very helpful as not everyone is enlightened to the benefits of revisiting the Moon.

  11. I have similar feelings towards Ares V. It seems too heavy for current infrastructure, which means new crawler, new LC – there were even speculations if VAB can withstand such a thing.

    I don’t really see how this project can be pushed forward without major expenses for infrastructure upgrades.

    It reminds me a lot of the Nova Project, back in the Apollo days.

  12. If Ares 1X is successful when would the next test launch be approximately and is there a name selected?

  13. Question: anyone know when the shuttles will be retired?
    Because ive heard a rumor they’re replacing them in 2012.

  14. This is a bit premature I guess, but I’ve been wondering: will the Ares I-Y test the thrust oscillation dampening system? If not, when will it first be used.

    Thanks for this blog.


  15. The Shuttle didn’t have any test launches..It was just built and computer flown, manned and launched..Why all the tests ? Seems like a waste of time and money to me when we can get all the results from computer computations ………………….

  16. I wonder, are there any plans to mount a camera on the upper stage? It would be interesting to see the whole flight from launch till splash down.

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