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NASA postpones Ares 1 rocket motor test

File image of an earlier Ares test.
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral, Florida (AFP) Aug 27, 2009
NASA on Thursday delayed the debut test of the first stage motor of the Ares 1 rocket, the launch vehicle for the space shuttle's successor, Orion, the space agency said.

The static test, which was supposed to have been conducted at NASA's Promontory test center in Utah, was postponed indefinitely following a problem in an auxiliary motor that supplied hydraulic pressure, a NASA official said.

The experimental Ares 1 rocket is supposed to be used for the equally experimental first launch of the Orion space capsule from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral on October 31.

Thursday's setback should not affect the date of the Orion test launch, NASA said.

But Ares 1, which has cost seven billion dollars so far, faces an uncertain fate.

A commission named by President Barack Obama to review the US manned space program is supposed to present its findings on August 31.

Members of the independent panel already have made clear that NASA lacks the funding to accomplish the ambitious goal set by former president George W. Bush of returning astronauts to the Moon by 2020 as a prelude to manned flights to Mars.

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SKorea satellite lost after flawed launch: officials
Seoul (AFP) Aug 26, 2009
A satellite launched by South Korea's first space rocket fell to earth and burnt up after missing its designated orbit, officials said Wednesday. The science and technology ministry said the problem was caused by one of the two fairings which covered the satellite at the rocket's tip. Because one of them did not fall away from the rocket after opening, the rocket could not achieve en ... read more

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