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Last Updated: Tuesday October 20 2009 06:22 GMT

New spaceship test for Nasa

Artist's impression of the Ares 1 rocket

Nasa's new space rocket goes on show

A brand new spaceship is going on show for the first time in America, ahead of its first test flight.

The Ares 1 rocket is designed to take astronauts up into orbit, and it's hoped it will be doing just that within the next 10 years.

But first off it will have to make a two-minute test flight without anyone aboard to make sure it works.

It will take about seven hours for the 100-metre long rocket to be driven to the launch pad in Florida.

Ares 1-X graphic (Source: Nasa)

Test version

The test launch is set to take place no later than the 27 October.

This rocket is actually called the Ares 1-X, because it is a test version of the real thing.

It will climb about 25 miles into the sky, while sensors measure how it performs.

"It's a tall rocket; it's been over three decades since anyone has built a rocket this tall. That was the Saturn V," explained Trent Smith, an engineer for the Ares 1-X.

"We have over 700 sensors on this rocket; and the whole point of Ares 1-X is to understand how does a rocket this shape, this weight, this tall actually fly," he said.

The top half of the Ares 1-X is a mock up of the real thing, which would contain a crew capsule and emergency escape system.