Visual Science: NASA Unveils Its New Rocket

The potential successor to the space shuttle gets ready to fly.

By Eliza Strickland
Oct 20, 2009 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 5:09 AM
Ares-I-X-rollout.jpg
Image: NASA | NULL

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This morning, a towering rocket was slowly wheeled into place on a launch pad in Florida, in preparation for its debut test flight next week. The 327-foot-tall rocket is an experimental prototype of the Ares I, the rocket that may blast astronauts into space once the space shuttles are finally retired. This prototype, Ares I-X, is the tallest rocket to grace the launch pad since Saturn V stood there in the early 1970s, a rocket which catapulted the Apollo astronauts into space.

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