Bad weather could interfere with NASA test flight

October 26, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
The sun sets on the Ares I-X rocket, Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39-B in Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA plans a sub-orbital test flight of the rocket early Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP) -- NASA's newest rocket is on the verge of blasting off on a test flight.

The Ares I-X rocket is set to lift off Tuesday morning. But forecasters say there's a 60 percent chance that rain and clouds could delay the experimental flight.

It's the first step in NASA's effort to return astronauts to the moon.

The flight will last two minutes and cost $445 million. Parachutes will drop the first-stage booster into the Atlantic for recovery. The upper portion of the rocket - all fake parts - will fall uncontrolled into the ocean.

No matter what happens, NASA managers say they expect to learn a lot from the flight, even if it's for another type of rocket. The White House is re-evaluating the entire human spaceflight program.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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