Ares I-X Undergoes Testing at the Pad

Technicians at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B continue preparing the Ares I-X test launch vehicle for its targeted liftoff on Oct. 27.

On Thursday, technicians conducted a full test of the rocket, including a "hot fire" of the auxiliary power units as part of the integrated systems test. The rotating service structure was opened at midday and will be moved back into place after an evening test of the Xenon lights is completed tonight.

Also today, the Ares I-X Flight Test Readiness Review will be held at Kennedy, which is expected to include the selection of an official launch date. At the launch pad, technicians will test the launch pad and ground systems, and ground support equipment.

A launch countdown simulation is set for Saturday, with vehicle closeouts scheduled for Sunday.

Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X
Targeted Launch Date: Oct. 27
Launch Window: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. EDT
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA's first flight test for the agency's next-generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system, called Ares I-X, will bring NASA one step closer to its exploration goals. The flight test will provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I.