Dassault Ares Spaceplane
AKA: Ares. Status: Operational 2009. First Launch: 2009-10-28. Last Launch: 2009-10-28. Number: 1 . Gross mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Span: 3.50 m (11.40 ft).
One version of Ares would perform subsonic landing tests; it would be carried by an aircraft or balloon and then be released at a high altitude. A second version would be launched into orbit on a Soyuz-class expendable launch vehicle and then perform a hypersonic reentry and landing. The Ares design was merged with the Dassault Vehra to produce a single French proposal for the EXTV technology demonstrator of the ESA Future Launcher Technology Program.
First flight test of the Ares/Constellation program. The Ares I-X rocket consisted of the modified Shuttle RSRM-91A solid rocket booster, a dummy Upper Stage Simulator, and a dummy Ares command module / launch abort system. It was launched from the newly modified LC39B at Kennedy Space Center to test the aerodynamics of the vehicle within the atmosphere and provide real-world data to ameliorate concerns regarding the vibration level created by the SRB for any crew in a future mission. The SRB reached 46 km altitude before descending to the Atlantic for recovery.