681 - Ares 1-Y ?
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Here is a cool video of the proposed Y test flight, which has now almost certainly been canceled. This may mean they are simply going to cover all the bases in different ways, or it may (most likely) mean further delays in this rocket program.

The Ares rockets and hardware are solid ideas, but sadly they are suffering from some of the worst NASA effect ever seen. The cost of the Ares 1 alone is estimated to be over $35 billion. It is a fairly small rocket, that uses basically well developed old school technology. Granted everything is being modified to some extent, but really does it take 5+ years and $35 billion+ to toss shuttle parts together into a new rocket? It seems really excessive. However, there is no reason why this rocket system should not get cheaper with time. As long as it is used regularly, that is. The Shuttle could have been cheaper also, if it were used more often. But without the orbiter to maintain, and the overall huge size of the shuttle system, it is mind boggling how the Ares 1 rocket could even come close to being as expensive as the shuttle. Maybe the Ares V, which will be the largest rocket ever when (if) it starts to fly, should cost a ton. I understand that fully. Perhaps it would only fly two times a year. But each launch of that system (unlike with the shuttle) could place a telescope into orbit with an 8 to 16 (according to realistic proposals) meter mirror in it.

Ares 1Y

There may be a test in 2012, called Ares 1-X prime, that will test a full scale booster, the emergency launch escape system (a rocket that pulls the capsule away in the event of an emergency abort at lower altitudes and airspeeds), but nothing else. The 1-Y would have tested all of the above, plus a real upper stage without an engine, and a real Orion capsule (or C.E.V.)

The Universe Today

More rocketry posts here..>
posted by High Power Rocketry @ Thursday, November 05, 2009  
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