Friday, September 11, 2009
Yesterday NASA successfully test-fired the first stage the new Ares I.
Click here to see the test.
This is Dongtastic news as it means the first 36 miles back into space is available. NASA managed to build this new rocket on roughly the same budget, adjusted for today’s dollars, as the Apollo program spent on catering. (Citation needed)
Now that the research is done on the first stage booster, hopefully the per unit cost (sale price) of this booster is comparable to other boosters and it can be brought to market so through economies of scale private companies can greatly reduce the cost of the first 36 miles into space.
Even if it is slightly more expensive than other boosters, having another first stage booster to choose from gives space exploration a bit more flexibility.