The Ares rocket launch only tested the first stage of their Ares I rocket, but the test was a success. Fired from a launch site in Utah, the rocket motor fired off 3.6 million pounds of thrust during its take off. The Ares I is the smallest of the proposed next generation of rockets, and the Augustine report identified it as the future of low Earth orbit transportation in two of its plans.
The rest of the plans, identifying commercial space companies as the solution for low Earth orbit launches. However, the X-prize goes beyond that. Saturday's test is the first of three different launches that form part of the the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The Challenge offers $1 million to the company that can create a low cost, high performance lunar lander to help NASA achieve its goals at a lower price. To that end, Armadillo Aerospace will be the first company to test their prototype in this round of the challenge.
And if anyone's going to get to the Moon, it looks like it's going to have to be a commercial company. As the Augustine report made clear, NASA just doesn't have the money anymore.
Um, when you test fire a rocket that is bolted to the ground, I don't believe it constitutes a launch.
This image's likeness, immediately brought to mind a long forgotten, news documented historical fact, never publicly acknowledged by the government.
During final testing of the Apollo's, 'Eagle' Lunar Lander about 50 years ago, some amazing circumstances arose. Apparently one such manned test drop over White Sands Missile Range, in the barren isolation of New Mexico, resulted in an errant landing and take off, witnessed in the pre-dawn, near Socorro NM, not far from the WSMR.
The sensationalist national news media, exuberantly reported it as 'an Alien craft landing' (fit in nicely with the Roswell Incident). The government sent out a team to examine the high temperature flame scorched, and blown out, gravel area.
They 'ceremoniously' measured for 'radiation'. I personally measured and recorded the preserved landing gear imprints. They were exactly the dimensions of the 'Eagle' Lunar Lander's last modified design. (surprise, surprise)
And in other news the US geographic survey recorded a magnitude 6 earthquake in Utah. They are at present unable to explain what might have caused it.
rofl :D wonder wat it was that caused it
To the author's quote of, "Flight Of The Armadillo : I'm always amused when aerospace vehicles are named after animals that don't fly"
Amadillo is the company's name, Scorpius was the rocket's name (apparently after the star constellation).
To Sonofanel: This craft, the Scorpius, actually lifted off, hoovered about 18 seconds, flew about 100 meters, descended, hoovered again about 18 seconds, then landed. Then was refueled, and repeated the same flight benchmarks back to the starting. It was pretty cool.
Check out the youtube video (and my awesome comments):
w00t look at that flame.
some1 got a biiiiiig firecracker
Still, the space shuttle is overdue anyway.-DaSonicMan