Big stick

Parachutes will return first stage to Atlantic

Nicknamed “the stick,” the Ares I-X is 327 feet tall and weighs 1.8 million pounds. It will reach a speed of Mach 4.7 and an altitude of 28 miles. The rocket, managed by Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center, cost $445 million. The flight will last about two minutes before the first stage parachutes into the Atlantic, where it will be retrieved by the USS Freedom.

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