Sep 11, 2009 9:53 AM by NBC
A million pounds of propellant was ignited in the Utah desert Thursday, as NASA tested a new moon rocket.
A massive cloud of smoke and dust rose as the rocket blasted flames for more than two minutes.
The rocket itself was fastened horizontally to the ground on a testing pad.
The Ares I rocket is part of the new technology intended to return American astronauts to the moon by 2020.
The rocket is designed to eventually boost a 321-foot long vehicle, and its crew, about 36 miles into space in about 120 seconds.
But a White House panel says there may not be enough funding for the Ares I rocket.