Message from Ares I-X Mission Manager — Bob Ess

From the Ares I-X mission manager perspective, this is a very exciting time for Ares I-X. All of our hardware is at Kennedy and is being prepared for stacking and launch. Facilities are being modified to accept the vehicle and support it at the launch pad. I can walk right from my office to where all this work is going on and talk to the people that are doing it, and check on progress every day. We are currently performing testing of our instrumentation on the vehicle to ensure that it is working prior to stacking of our hardware into “stacks.”  Once the 5 stacks are completed later this summer, we will start assembling those stacks on top of each other in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Speaking of the people, our team has been doing an amazing job working through the challenges that inevitably come up during a test flight.  We are all proud to set the stage for the future in many ways and to be participating in this one of a kind mission.

More to come…

16 thoughts on “Message from Ares I-X Mission Manager — Bob Ess”

  1. thanks for the up date. is there anyway to get a date on when ares 1-x is going to launch. i can’t wait to see that baby fly. keep up the good work

  2. Dear Dan,
    It is nice to have a personal relationship with Ares 1X. I sit at home and through your reports and I become part of the project and the excitement you must feel every day.
    The nation, I am sure is watching and is proud of you and all the professionals working on this project. You thrill us and we cheer you on.
    Good Luck and God’s Speed

    Ralph A. Curcio

  3. It’s just amazing to compare the moon race of the 60’s to to moon jog of the 2010’s. It’s not to say either strategy is better. Times were drastically different then. The Apollo missions proved that there’s nothing better than real American pride and that “can-do” attitude. An extraordinary group of people accomplished the near impossible in less than 10 years. But with Apollo, I never thought we knew what to do next once we got there. Was it #16 or #17 (the last) that a real scientist finally walked the moon. This time there seems to be a real purpose of going back. Something permanent. It’s the first logical step in going beyond our moon. The planning is more careful, the technology obviously more sophisticated. We may not experience the “rush” and thrill ride that the Apollo project had. But the sense that this is a permanent thing, something that our children & grandchildren will build upon, now that’s something really incredible and exciting. To be privileged to witness this new beginning!

  4. Good to see the project is coming together. To the Moon again. I was 10 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I hope i live long enough to see a man or woman walk on the Moon again.

  5. I know I am not in the right spot on this website but I was hoping someone could answer a question for me. What happened to the moon last night? The crescent moon was out and it slowly was covered up by a dark circle. Then the moon peaked back out the bottom from behind the dark circle and went behind it again. I few minutes later the entire moon came back out from behind the dark circle much lower to the ground now and very bright and within 10 minutes the moon was completly gone again. We thought that we may have had some sort of lunar eclipse but there was nothing on the news and nothing posted on your site.

    Can you help me and give me any answers?

    Thank You,


  6. This is a very important mission to the beginning of constellation program, that will put men again on the surface of the Moon, so is the first step of a new era.

  7. Dear David, try searching on the missions calendar on the nasa homepage. The last time I checked it it was targeted to launch on July 12nd. Else you can try searching on google, it’s ever a good choise.

  8. Hello, Holly. I believe that perhaps you were watching the moon behind a curved glass then, which could cause the strange effects you described. Is that right?

  9. Great news! There are a lot of folks wishing NASA thier best as you guys forge ahead. Keep up the great work you guys and gals do!

  10. Thanks for keeping us updated on whats happening! Yes its a very exciting days for Ares and Constelition programe and I now see that you have a launch day target set to august 30th! Ill hope that you give this exciting milestone as much live coverage as youre everyday shuttle mission!

  11. Hi, can someone clarify this for me? Perhaps Mr. Ess would comment.
    I think that I read somewhere that the Ares I-X is actually not to the full scale of the actual planned I-X. Is this true? I seem to remember that the actual I-X booster will be somewhat larger.

  12. From a systems engineering perspective, what are the benefits of the Ares I-X mission.

  13. The main objective of the AI-X flight is validation of the guidance & control laws for such a long, skinny vehicle; additionally, aeroacoustic and thrust-oscillation data will be obtained, as well as info regarding the staging dynamics and recoverability of the RSRM.

    The vehicle is indeed “full scale”, but with a dummy boilerplate second stage and only four operational RSRM segments rather than five (the fifth segment is dummied as well). The largest difference to the planned vehicle is that the Orion OML is of a very early design, without the ogive fairing.

  14. For Mr. Bob Ess

    Sir, Pardon me contacting you via your blog. I am not aware or able to locate an email address for you. As a Kid I followed and hung on everything NASA did, and now so is my Son RUSSELL. How might Russell be able to obtain an autographed photo signed by yourself to him as the Aries project manager.
    Russell is 4, and not quite savy ont he computer yet so I write for him.

    Thanks you greatly

    Michael and Russell
    Troy Michigan

Comments are closed.