After Hours

Gallery: NASA launches next-gen rocket test

NASA's Ares I-X rocket successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center Florida Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. The test lasted about 6 minutes and included about two minutes of powered flight. The rocket landed in the ocean about 150 miles away where it will be recovered for examination. Watch the video of the launch.

NASA said "the 327-foot tall Ares I-X test vehicle produced 2.6 million pounds of thrust to accelerate the rocket to nearly 3 g's and Mach 4.76, just shy of hypersonic speed."

The launch was designed to test the hardware and flight characteristics of NASA's next-generation rocket fleet that is expected to power humans back to the moon and eventually to Mars. It contained a phony payload which will not be recovered.

Image credit: NASA