That’s the Ares I rocket. It was supposed to launch humans into space. Many of those scarce taxpayer dollars will go to Alliant Techsystems for a solid fuel rocket engine. But NASA cancelled the Ares I, and future manned missions will probably use liquid-fueled vehicles.
Congress just passed a Continuing Resolution with specific language funding the cancelled rocket. Why?The Aries I project is run out of Huntsville Alabama, and Senator Richard Shelby of that state is on the Senate Appropriations Committee.