From Wikipedia.com:Ares I-X
was the first test flight in the Ares I
program, a launch system
for human spaceflight
currently under development by the United States space agency NASA
. Ares I-X was successfully launched on October 28, 2009.
The Ares I-X vehicle used in the test flight
was similar in shape, weight, and size to the planned configuration of later Ares I vehicles, but had largely dissimilar internal hardware. Ares I vehicles are intended to launch Orion
crew exploration vehicles. Along with the Ares V
launch system and the Altair
lunar lander, Ares I and Orion are part of NASA's Constellation Program
, which is developing spacecraft for U.S. human spaceflight after the Space Shuttle
fleet is expected to retire from service in 2010.