Status Report

NASA Ares I-X Status Report 15 October 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
October 15, 2009
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NASA Ares I-X Status Report 15 October 2009

Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X
Launch Date: Oct. 27
Launch Pad: 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Upcoming key milestones:

– No earlier than Oct. 20 – Rollout to Launch Pad 39B targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT
– Oct. 21 – Satellite live shot campaign at Launch Pad 39B from 6-9 a.m. EDT
– Oct. 23 – L-4 Flight Test Readiness Review followed by a news conference on NASA TV targeted for 5 p.m. EDT
– Oct. 24 – L-3 Media briefing on NASA TV at 10 a.m. EDT
– Oct. 25 – L-2 Launch Status Briefing on NASA TV at 10 a.m. EDT
– Oct. 26 – Prelaunch News Conference on NASA TV at 1 p.m. EDT
– Oct. 27 (target) – Ares I-X flight test launch at 8 a.m. EDT

Ares I-X Flight Hardware

– The rollout of the Ares I-X flight test vehicle scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19, is being rescheduled by at least 24 hours. This will allow time for the launch team to remove and replace a hydraulic accumulator.

– During testing late on Oct. 14, hydraulics engineers detected a gaseous nitrogen leak in the accumulator, which is located in the aft skirt of the rocket. The pressurized nitrogen is leaking past a seal and into the area of the accumulator containing hydraulic fluid. The accumulator absorbs hydraulic pressure spikes as the system operates. The accumulator is being removed and replaced today, and the retest will begin on Friday.

– The same problem has occurred in the past on space shuttle flight hardware, most recently on STS-117 in March 2007.

– What effect this will have on the Ares I-X targeted Oct. 27 launch date, if any, is being assessed by management and will be based on when the rollout is finally scheduled to occur.

This week’s milestones include:

– Upper Stage, Interstage, Frustrum and RoCS closeouts for flight are complete, and the installation of the flight door is in work

– Power up testing is in work

– First Stage closeouts continue

Upcoming milestones:   – Rollout

Ares I-X Ground Support Equipment

– At Launch Pad 39B, modifications are complete

The Ares I-X flight test will provide NASA an early opportunity to check and prove hardware, analysis and modeling methods, and facilities and ground operations needed to develop the NASA’s next crew launch vehicle.

For more information about the Ares I-X flight test, visit:

Previous status reports are available at:  

SpaceRef staff editor.