>NASA’s New Rocket Gets Built, and Dang Is It Skinny


Photos: NASA’s New Rocket Gets Built, and Dang Is It Skinny

The first tall, skinny Ares I-X rocket is now more than half assembled at Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building.

Last week, a host of new pieces were stacked onto the test rocket, putting it over the halfway mark, NASA announced in a blog post titled, “Really Taking Shape Now.”

The Ares I-X is set for an October 31 test flight, but along with the entire next-generation NASA Constellation program, its future is uncertain. The Human Spaceflight Review, initiated by the Obama administration earlier this year, could recommend wholesale changes to NASA’s future.

Nonetheless, the program continues to soldier on, as can be seen from these construction photos. Below, we see a custom-designed overhead crane, which places the components onto the stack.

These photos really give a sense of the scale of rocket, which will reach a height of 327 feet when it’s complete. In about a month — just about the time the review committee submits its findings — the Ares I-X stacking process will be complete.

Images: NASA

WiSci 2.0: Alexis Madrigal’s Twitter, Google Reader feed, and green tech history research site; Wired Science on Twitter and Facebook.

See and download the full gallery on posterous


About Blake Britton

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