Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The beast stands tall - Aries 1-X

The Ares rocket is fully stacked now. All 327 feet of it. This is the tallest rocket stacked in the high bay of the VAB since the Saturn V's were assembled there over 35 years ago. The shuttle isn't nearly this tall, and is just a fat stubby bundle of rockets.
The Ares 1-X is still planned to fly no sooner than October 31st on a short flight out into the Atlantic to test the escape system. Still many years before astronauts will ride this thing.


Dave said...

I'm excited to see NASA getting ready to send humans up in a new spacecraft. But, is it just me, or is this the ugliest rocket you've ever seen? It looks like a half-inflated clown balloon. ("Hey, kids! Watch Buzz-O twist this into a Moon-walking poodle!")

- Rocketman

Tom said...

Yeah, that thing isn't the prettiest rocket around I agree. Does look like a clown balloon or maybe even a corn-dog on a stick!

Although, it will still be probably 5 years before any human 'meat' rides that thing. Did you read that the thing will be unsurvivable in the first couple minutes if they have to abort from that SRB? I'll have to post an article about that. Kind of disturbing.

Arealrocketengineer said...

The Aries is the most useless POS that NASA ever devised. It's so underpowered that capability had to be removed form the Orion. It suffers from SRM combustion instabiltiy issues that lead to launching thousands of pounds of dead-weight in the form shock-absorbers. Its aspect ratio make it susceptible to winds over 15 mph. The Jupiter Direct 2.0 was so much more of a sensible solution: one rocket for crew and heavy lift - utilizing the existing pad, tooling, workers and man-rated SRMs from the shuttle. Who here is still so whacked that he thinks that the Aries-V will ever be funded?

Tom said...

Yeah, I share your feeling on the new rocket too. I was shocked when I read that they were adding weight to the rocket to dampen out the vibration. It reminds me of a 2 stage model rocket I built years ago. I had to add a bunch of weight to the nose of the rocket to get it to balance properly. I didn't like that idea, and when it finally launched, it went all over the place once the first stage separated! I never flew that one again after that. But we all are familiar with how NASA had to trim parts off the LM back in the Apollo days to save weight - and it worked flawlessly!
But ADDING weight which would then require more fuel just to lift that excuse for a fix (almost sounds like a Microsoft critical update!). That is just payload capacity lost but then how much will the Orion carry up anyway other than the astronauts and their stuff?
Well, we will soon see how this bird flies in a couple weeks.

Fereyle said...

You "Rocket Scientists" have definetively persuaded me and more likely the masses to turn a guiding eye to your scru-tiny. I guess we'll see @ 9:24.

Tom said...

Yeah, I'm watching this thing carefully. I'm just not convinced this is the right way to go. Read my later posts on the blog site!

Scrubbed for today, wind, clouds...
This isn't your daddy's Apollo 12 anymore! Hehe!