Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scotland's relationship status: "It's complicated"

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande Press Conference: French President Tackles Record Unpopularity

Read more

FOCUS

Cleaning up Thailand's shady surrogacy industry

Read more

ENCORE!

The Biennale des Antiquaires: Where Miro meets million-dollar jewellery and antiques

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Attacks on migrants in Tangiers and unwelcome stares from men in Cairo

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France looks on as Scotland votes

Read more

SCIENCE

NASA launches successor to space shuttle

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-28

A prototype rocket designed to replace the aging US space shuttle fleet successfully took off for a two-minute test flight Wednesday after weather-related delays.

REUTERS - An unmanned NASA rocket intended to help develop a new space taxi service to the moon streaked into the sky on Wednesday for a brief two-minute test flight.


The 327-foot (100-meter) Ares 1-X rocket, currently the world’s tallest, blasted off at 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT) from a modified space shuttle launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida.


The slim white craft powered into the blue sky over Florida on a column of flame and smoke.


“That was just unbelieveable, that was fantastic, I’ve just got tears in my eyes,” Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana told the launch team.


Firing its motors for just over two minutes, the rocket flew to an altitude of 28 miles (45 km) and reached a speed nearly five times the speed of sound.


It parachuted back down into the Atlantic Ocean, where it was to be recovered by a NASA ship.


The new demo rocket is the centerpiece of a $445 million NASA program to verify designs for vehicles intended to replace the agency’s retiring space shuttles.


In addition to ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station 225 miles (360 km) above Earth, the booster is intended to be part of a system to fly astronauts to the moon and other destinations in the solar system.


The space shuttles are due to be retired next year after six more missions to complete the space station.

 

Date created : 2009-10-28

  • SPACE

    NASA 'bombs' the moon to find water

    Read more

COMMENT(S)