Progress on NASA's Constellation - The Big Picture - Boston.com
A scale model of the Ares I crew launch vehicle, for which NASA is designing, testing and evaluating hardware and related systems, is seen here on display at the Marshall Space Fight Center (MSFC), in Huntsville, Alabama
on July 14th, 2006.
Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama completed first-round testing on Sept. 11, 2008 of a key motor for the next-generation Ares I rocket. The ullage settling motor is a small, solid rocket motor that will assist in vehicle stage separation and provide the forward motion needed to push fuel to the bottom of the fuel tanks during the launch to orbit of the Ares I rocket.
Engineers began major refurbishment to the Marshall Center's Dynamic Test Stand in March 2008, removing the roof and lowering the 144-foot-high, 71-ton door. Marshall currently is making safety upgrades to the stand, overhauling the 200-ton derrick crane and installing a new electrical power system, restoring the facility to its Apollo-era capabilities in anticipation of full-scale Ares testing beginning in July 2011. The test program is expected to take approximately one year.