Ares showed the right stuff in its first mission, but will that flight also be its last?

Hours after NASA’s new Ares I-X test rocket roared into the sky on its first flight Wednesday, managers wore big grins and the space agency seemed to have some of its right-stuff, Apollo-era swagger back.

The successful test flight answered some of the concerns raised by critics of the rocket’s design, and work on the prototype’s fully functional successor, Ares I, was bustling along.

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