Really Taking Shape Now

Yesterday, yet another portion of the Ares I-X rocket was stacked on the Mobile Launch Platform in Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building. Now that super stack 1 is up and on, the 327-foot rocket is more than half way assembled and the team is getting excited as they watch it take shape in High Bay 3.  

Super stack 1 is composed of the fifth segment simulator, forward skirt, forward skirt extension, frustum and interstages 1 and 2. It also includes two internal elements – the roll control system and the first stage avionics module – as well as the parachute system housed in the forward skirt extension. The team used a massive overhead crane, specially adapted for I-X use, to place it on top of the forward motor segment.

Over the next month, four more super stacks with the final pieces of hardware (including the simulated crew module and launch abort system) will be mated, finishing off the stacking operations for the rocket. So, in about a month, NASA is going to be able to show off one of the biggest rockets the world has ever seen!

Ares I-X is scheduled to roll out to launch complex 39B just four days prior to its targeted liftoff of October 31.

27 thoughts on “Really Taking Shape Now”

  1. thats cool rocket there.but why ? set the target date of oct31 there. thats halloweenie there..?? cant nasa speed it up a little like early in october to me hallowsween is something else. hope to see it go off there..

  2. The large holes in the support structure really put the Ares V in perspective with the two solid rocket engines on the sides.

  3. This is so exiting. I have been watching the progress carefully since the start of project constellation. It is good to be near the first launch now. Good luck! Ares 1-x!

  4. Uh… Looking at this, I really start to wonder if NASA is on her right way. I don’t know the calculations but I really doubt this rocket can fly.

  5. It’s a real beauty, and impressively tall.
    Looking forward to the first test flight!!!

  6. Looks great! How will NASA ensure that the boilerplate and the dummy J-2X matches the actual one not only in weight but in average density and covering material etc ?? Does the Dummy J-2X have the same outer coating as the actual version (as outercoating affects the aerodynamics) ??

  7. The view is simply amazing! I can’t imagine an assembly hangar more than 100m high – how does it look from inside!!! Any visitor information please? :))

  8. The Ares I-X looks really great. For me it�s so unbelievable, that these huge rockets could fly. Really amazing and a great work of the engineers. I�ll keep on looking what�s happend. [url=]Jenni[/url]

  9. Wonderful! but why so late? What is the reason of continous postponing of the flight. I know there aree some concerns about stabillity, but this doesn’t explain everything.Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that when the rocket will be assembled, little can be done in that matter.

    This mission is crucial, because it is showing all the sceptics that NASA is really doing something. Peolple have enough computer animation, they want to see the rocket on the pad, and later in the air. Want acting, not complaining about possible technical difficulties, lack of funds, and so on.

  10. Great pics! I think it will be difficult for us to gain a true perspective of how tall the Ares I-X is until it rolls out of the VAB. Imagine what an Ares V will look like!

  11. i just love nasa and everything they do i would love to work there i would prob live there if i worked there because i am so into space the planets and just nasa in general i love it

  12. this is confusing without a scale comparison. How tall is this compared to say, storeys of a building?

  13. I hope the Ares really does do what it was made for and does it well because focus is something that has been lacking and its about time we stop sticking to our laurels and push some imaginations to LEO and beyond.

  14. In case anybody checks back a week after they post…

    Building stories are usually estimated at ten feet, so the Ares being more than half way assembled probably puts it somewhere around the height of a 16-20 story building.

    The building is massive on the inside. It is deceptively tall because it is so long and wide. There was quite a breeze at the doors because of the climate/ pressure difference between the inside of the building and the outside (it has it’s own internal climate). The center section was open all the way to the roof, and I just stood there and stared for a little while. There were work bays on either side similar to what you can see the Ares being stacked in in these pictures.

    I was lucky enough to get a tour of the VAB when in Florida for the NASA Means Business competition. This was back in May, all that was there was the abort system, the piece from the mid section with all of the logos (meatball, constellation, ares, etc.), and another piece. It was amazing. (actually, I found a link to a press photo I remember seeing right after I got back showing the same pieces

    Actually, here are a few photos I took if you care to see them. ( I have more that need to be added.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to answer what I can 🙂

  15. I remember the first shuttle launch as if it were yesterday and I remember the apollo mission launches and the astronauts who walked on the moon. They inspired me to a lifelong love of space and space flight. I hope that when Ares1-X finally launches that it will be the start of man’s further exploration of the solar system and beyond.
    From over this side of the pond may I wish you all the success and well being possible.

    Chris Jones UK

  16. Hi there this is just a little info for those that are not sure of the hights of these new ares rockets. The Ares 1 will be 325ft high,and the Ares V will be wait for it!! 381.1 ft high!!.Thats higher than a Saturn V at 363 ft!!. I would imagine that the 1X test rocket would be the same hight as the fully comleted Ares 1.

    Just thought you might like to know .

  17. Me too chris 1981 feels like it just happened,and i remember watching the apollo 11 moon landing in 69 i was six then,and the others upto 1972 .Really looking forward to Ares 1X test flight. Just think in a few years time we will have the unbelievable opportunity to see men and women stand once again on the moon, that’ll be twice in one lifetime mind blowing.And in live HD !!.

    Hope to go to florida for the final shuttle launch in may next year.

    Another UK space fan.

  18. What a blow it will be if this vehicle isn’t allowed to launch by obama! Such a waste of man hours money an expertise dedication . I’m very worried that constellation might be muddied and watered down,this project needs proper funding .!!!

  19. With the cancellation or drastic reduction of the Ares program, we will have no manned access to the space station that America built! Only 6 more shuttle flights, then that is the end. The US will opt out of space exploration in favor of executive bonuses and mindless give aways.

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