The NASA Ares I rocket, which will ferry Orion into space, has passed internal preliminary design reviews after 24 engineers signed off on the review. NASA has $3 billion per year set aside for development of the Ares rocket and Orion space capsule over the next three years.
“This is a critical step for development of the Ares I rocket,” said Rick Gilbrech, associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in Washington. “Completing the preliminary design review of the integrated vehicle demonstrates our engineering design and development are on sound footing, and the Ares I design work is taking us another step closer to building America’s next mode of space transportation.”
NASA has not had to carry out preliminary design reviews since 1973, when the current generation of space shuttles had its design review approved, NASA said in a statement. Even though most of the rocket has not been constructed, these early tests are to ensure the design, plans, and software necessary for the rocket are able to meet strict safety procedures. The team developing Ares are next going to try and figure out if shock absorbers should be added to help reduce excessive vibrations that take place during launch.
Once the rocket is further along in development, there will be another test that is scheduled to take place in March 2011. It will undergo its first unmanned test sometime in 2009, NASA wanting to launch the test in either June or July.
"It is an important milestone in the progress of the exploration effort," said Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator for the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.
NASA hopes Ares and Orion will help the U.S. space agency return to space by 2015 and to the moon by 2020. There will be a five-year window where the U.S. government and NASA are trying to figure out if they are going to pay the Russian space program millions to help ferry NASA astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
Recent political tensions between Russia and Georgia, in which Russia launched airstrikes and sent tanks into the country, has caused U.S. politicians to reconsider if it wants to put its trust into the hands of the Russian space agency. The recent turmoil has caused some people within the space industry to look into the plausibility of extending the current shuttle fleet's deployment a couple more years.
quote: if America spend on the Spaceprogram what one Nuke Sub costs...
quote: why don't you b**ch about all the money we spend on entitlement programs like welfare, medicare, social security, etc? Thats about five times more a year than the entire Defense Dept gets.
quote: Now, several recent strokes, along with an unfortunate shark attack, have left her paralyzed
quote: Nice pity attack, but you still haven't explained why I should be FORCED to work for a living to pay her doctor bills. If I refuse to pay, the government comes looking for me and takes all my stuff. If I refuse again, they use guns and either kill me or lock me up. All because I want to keep the fruits of MY labor. Sounds a lot like slavery to me. Every year, the first five months, every single cent I make goes to pay taxes. I can't spend one PENNY the way I want until I've satisfied Uncle Sam and his three evil cousins (state, county, and local tax depts).
quote: when one can EASILY check that US Defense is over 50% of the yearly budget only makes YOU look like a fool.
quote: you MIGHT be interested to know that the US Space program - (Apollo going to the Moon as one example) returned more than 8 times the investment in the 80s ALONE
quote: Third, I make my living in the Aerospace/Defense industry.
quote: and more environmentally friendly.
quote: I think it better we just face reality.
quote: Able to reference any direct data, or just felt like trolling the same old tired doomsday rhetoric?
quote: I'm hearing through the grapevine professionals aren't having too rough a time finding work here.
quote: It will undergo its first unmanned test sometime in 2009