While Washington continues to debate the future of manned spaceflight, officials at ATK Space Systems are working toward the Aug. 25 horizontal static test firing of the rocket designed to carry astronauts back to the moon and beyond. Engineers say the Ares I rocket will be significantly safer than the space shuttle and more powerful, too, with 22 million horsepower capable of launching astronauts 35.5 miles above the Earth in just over two minutes' time.

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