NASA has now finished (see figure 1) the Ares 1-X test rocket which is due to be launched in a sub-orbital flight in October 31st. However a recent article on the guardian web site suggest that without a cash injection this may be the only Ares 1 rocket we will see. It will not be practical for them to get to the Moon by 2020 as Bush directed them to do back in 2004 due to lack of budget. Back in the 60’s NASA had about 5% of the GDP of the USA to design and build the Apollo rocket to get them to the Moon by the end of the decade but now NASA is trying to do the same thing with less than 1% of the GDP. Weather the Constellation program is cancelled or just delayed is still not decided but with the USA in the middle of the economic melt down I doubt that Obama will be sending them any more money.
Figure 1. Ares 1-X finished