29 Oct 2009

NASA launches new rocket

5:54 am on 29 October 2009

The United States space agency NASA has launched a prototype rocket designed to replace the ageing space shuttle.

The Ares I-X was launched on the second attempt at 1530 GMT on Wednesday from the Kennedy space centre in Florida, after an attempt on Tuesday was postponed due to bad weather.

The 100 metres Ares I-X will test technology crucial for the development of a manned craft that could return astronauts to the Moon.

The BBC reports the rocket is the first that NASA has built in more than three decades.