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NASA Awards Contract For Ares I Mobile Launcher

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by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) May 09, 2008
NASA's Kennedy Space Center has awarded a contract to Hensel Phelps of Orlando, Fla., for the construction of the Ares I mobile launcher for the Constellation Program. Ares I is the rocket that will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle, its crew and cargo to low Earth orbit. The contract includes an option for an additional Ares I mobile launcher.

It is a firm fixed-price contract with a value of $263,735,000, if all options are exercised.

The mobile launcher will support the Ares I and the vehicle's associated ground support equipment. It will be used in the assembly, testing and servicing of the Ares I at existing Kennedy facilities.

The mobile launcher will transport the Ares I rocket to the launch pad and provide ground support for launches.

The mobile launcher consists of the main support structure that comprises the base, tower and facility ground support systems, which include power, communications, conditioned air, water for cooling, wash-down, and ignition over-pressure protection.

Hensel Phelps will supply all labor, materials and equipment necessary for construction of the Ares I mobile launcher. Ground support equipment, such as umbilicals, propellant and gases, instrumentation, controls and communications, necessary to support the Ares I rocket will be provided and installed under a separate contract or contracts.

The tower of the mobile launcher will have multiple platforms for personnel access and will be approximately 390 feet tall. Construction will take place at the mobile launcher park site area located north of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at the space center in Florida.

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NASA Successfully Completes First Series Of Ares Engine Tests
Stennis MS (SPX) May 09, 2008
NASA engineers Thursday successfully completed the first series of tests in the early development of the J-2X engine that will power the upper stages of the Ares I and Ares V rockets, key components of NASA's Constellation Program. Ares I will launch the Orion spacecraft that will take astronauts to the International Space Station and then to the moon by 2020.

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