Off Beat Stories

Oct 26, 2009 7:00 PM by Kristen Dahlgren

NASA ready to test launch new Ares rocket

America's newest rocket is now on the pad and scheduled to lift off in less than 24 hours.

Ares 1X is scheduled to liftoff on its first test flight Tuesday morning, but the unmanned, two and a half minute mission may be the only time we ever see it.

Last week a panel of experts submitted a report to President Obama calling Ares "too expensive" and "the wrong rocket for the future of space flight", saying the country should instead leave low Earth orbit to commercial ventures.

While the president weighs his options NASA is going ahead with its test, saying there is still much to learn from Ares.

725 sensors will collect critical data as the rocket blasts off, separates and then lands in the atlantic.

Still, flight engineers are hoping this all important test shows the world what Ares can do, even if hope for the future of the rocket now looks to be in serious jeopardy.

Weather could be a factor.

Forecasters are only giving it a 40 percent chance that weather will cooperate for launch.

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