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ExoLance
GAO report raises questions about Ares 1
Posted: Fri, Nov 30, 2007, 6:50 AM ET (1150 GMT)
Ares 1 launch illustration (NASA) A report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that NASA has to fill significant gap in its knowledge base in order to successfully develop the Ares 1 rocket. The report said that while the agency had good progress to date on the launch vehicle, there are gaps in the agency's knowledge about relevant requirements, costs, schedule, and technology, as well as uncertainties about the design of Orion, the manned spacecraft that Ares 1 will launch. Ares 1 will feature a five-segment solid rocket booster, derived from the four-stage SRBs used on shuttle flights, with a new liquid-propellant upper stage powered by a J-2X engine. A suborbital test flight of the first Ares 1 is planned for 2009, although the full vehicle will not enter operational service until the middle of the next decade.
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