Politics, Sci-Tech

New generation NASA rocket tested

By J Brooks Spector 1 September 2010

NASA and ATK Aerospace Systems on Tuesday successfully tested the most powerful solid fuel rocket ever built, which is meant to replace the current rockets being used in aerospace missions. The new rocket is called Ares I, and was tested in the Utah desert; it will power the next generation Orion spaceships, which will see astronauts returning to the moon by 2020, if NASA's plans are implemented. However, President Obama ordered a stop to the project (called the Constellation Project) in February, saying that NASA should investigate new technologies before embarking on this new, multi-billion dollar project. This effectively means that once the shuttle programme ends in 2011, the US will have to use Russia's Soyuz rockets to get astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Congress is reportedly unhappy about this, and is looking for ways to undercut Obama's order and provide NASA with the permission to continue with the Constellation project. Read more: BBC News and the AFP.