Well - the grand "Back to the Future" space booster known as Ares 1 has now been fully assemblied and is expected to make its first test flight later this year. The photograph is from the Space Ref.com webpage.
Excuse me while I go off on my usual rant about building the "Super Apollo" program on a budget that will not see anything really done. Case in point the recent findings of President Obama's panel on Human Space Flight Committee. Basically, their findings can be summed up like this... current budget funding levels, NASA cannot go back to the moon by 2020. Maybe not even by 2028. I did my venting on this on my other blog (The Shanks Dimension). I will turn 50 years old come this December, 2009. With this report, there will be no Americans BACK on the moon by the time I turn 69 years old!
This is unacceptible!
If there is to be any hope of Americans travelling in outer space BEYOND Low Earth Orbit for the rest of my life - then it will depend on the Private Sector to get Americans out there. More and more Americans are becoming disalusion with their own government (not country!, But with the sad sacks we end up sending back to Washington, D.C. and the "government" that "they" allow us to have).