NASA shares Ares rocket development updates on iTunes

NASA has started posting video updates about the development of its new space vehicles on Apple’s iTunes site.

The video updates show the progress made on NASA’s newest family of exploration vehicles — the Ares I crew launch vehicle and Ares V heavy cargo launch vehicle.

The quarterly progress reports offer a glimpse into the development work of the launch vehicles that are intended to take explorers to the moon and beyond in coming decades. Beginning in 2015, the Ares I rocket will launch the Orion crew capsule, carrying astronauts and other equipment to the International Space Station.

The videos feature information about engine, hardware and system milestones. NASA officials began producing the updates in August 2006. The 10 programs last from five to 15 minutes.

The latest report in the series includes video segments about wind-tunnel testing of scale models of the Ares I test vehicle, known as Ares I-X, and the Ares V rocket. Engineers use the testing to improve the design of aerodynamic vehicles.

Another video shows a test of a parachute for the Ares I rocket. The parachute will slow the descent of the rocket's reusable first-stage motor as it falls back to Earth after detaching from the rocket during its climb into space.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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