At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a vehicle stabilization system has been installed on the 235-foot level of Launch Pad 39B to support the Ares I-X rocket. The transfer of the pad from the Space Shuttle Program to the Constellation Program took place May 31. Other modifications made to the pad include the removal of shuttle unique subsystems, such as the orbiter access arm and a section of the gaseous oxygen vent arm, along with the installation of three 600-foot lightning towers, access platforms and environmental control systems.
Part of the Constellation Program, the Ares I-X is the test vehicle for the Ares I, which is the essential core of a space transportation system designed to carry crewed missions back to the moon, on to Mars and out into the solar system. The Ares I-X flight test is targeted for Oct. 27. For information on the Ares I-X vehicle and flight test, visit http://www.nasa.gov/aresIX. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller