Oct 20, 2009 12:17 PM by Associated Press and Jamie Smith

NASA puts new rocket on launch pad for test flight

NASA's new rocket is on the launching pad.

The experimental Ares rocket traveled from the hangar to the pad Tuesday morning. It was moving at less than one mile per hour, and took almost seven hours to travel 4.2 miles to the pad.

It's the first time in 34 years that a rocket other than the space shuttle has stood at Launch Pad 39-B. NASA modified the pad for this rocket. The rocket is supposed to eventually carry astronauts to the moon, but the White House may scrap those plans.

The test rocket will blast off next Tuesday on a two-and-a-half minute flight to demonstrate how the partial first stage performs. The rocket is thin and exceptionally tall at 327 feet and looks like what will carry astronauts into orbit, possibly by 2015. But much of it is a mock-up, and no one or payload will be on board.

NASA also delayed the launch of space shuttle Atlantis four days to November 16th to give NASA crews a little more room to deal with the Ares launch.





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