Ares Test Rocket Blasts Off

Possible space shuttle replacement launches after long delay
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 10:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – NASA’s Ares I-X test rocket finally blasted off this morning, after several delays and a storm-foiled first attempt. The $445 million rocket is the first of its kind, and NASA hopes it’ll eventually replace the space shuttle and take astronauts to the moon. Originally it was supposed to lift off at 8 am, but engineers had to check for damage after a night that brought an estimated 154 lightning strikes within 5 miles of the rocket.