At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, hardware that will be used in the launch of the Ares I-X rocket is being offloaded from the C-5 aircraft. The hardware consists of a precisely machined, full-scale simulator crew module and launch abort system to form the tip of NASA's Ares I-X rocket. The launch of the 321-foot-tall, full-scale Ares I-X, targeted for July 2009, will be the first in a series of unpiloted rocket launches from Kennedy. When fully developed, the 16-foot diameter crew module will furnish living space and reentry protection for the astronauts, while their launch abort system will provide safe evacuation if a launch vehicle failure occurs.
Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller