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Ares 1-X launch date moved up
Posted: Wed, Sep 23, 2009, 8:05 AM ET (1205 GMT)
Ares 1-X launch illustration (NASA) NASA announced Tuesday that it was moving up next month's launch of a prototype of the Ares 1 launch vehicle by several days. The Ares 1-X launch, previously planned for October 31, is now scheduled for October 27, the agency announced; a backup date of October 28 is also planned. Officials said they moved up the launch because previous plans included buffer time they did not need, and that the range was available on those earlier dates. The Ares 1-X is a full-scale version of the Ares 1, but uses only a four-segment solid rocket motor in its first stage, versus the five-segment planned for the Ares 1; the second stage of the Ares 1-X is a dummy stage with no propulsion. The future of the Ares 1 is in question after a review of human spaceflight plans performed this summer by an independent committee: several of the options in that committee's summary report did not include the Ares 1.
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