New Nasa rocket set for test flight

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The Independent US

Nasa's new rocket arrived at the launch pad yesterday for a test flight next week at a time when the future of the country's space-flight programme is uncertain. It is the first time in 34 years that a rocket other than a space shuttle has stood at Launch Pad 39-B.

Nasa modified the pad for this rocket, which is supposed eventually to carry astronauts to the Moon. But the White House may scrap those plans. A panel of aerospace experts that provided President Barack Obama with a list of possible exploration options is issuing its final report this week.

The test vehicle will blast off next Tuesday on a two-and-a-half-minute ballistic flight, costing Nasa $445m.