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Rainy, cloudy weather could stall NASA test flight

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MARCIA DUNN | October 26, 2009 05:46 PM EST | AP

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA's new rocket for its back-to-the-moon program is on the launch pad, all set for a test flight Tuesday morning. But rain and clouds could interfere.

Forecasters said Monday there is a 60 percent chance bad weather will stall the launch.

The Ares I-X will fly for just two minutes. The first-stage booster will parachute into the Atlantic and be recovered. The tall, skinny rocket is outfitted with some 700 sensors. It's a $445 million test.

NASA hopes to launch an Ares rocket into orbit with astronauts in 2015. But a panel of experts contends it will be more like 2017. The Ares is supposed to replace space shuttles and eventually fly to the moon. The White House, though, is considering various options.