NASA planned to use Ares I to launch Orion, the spacecraft intended for NASA human spaceflight missions after the Space Shuttle is retired in 2011. Ares I was to complement the larger, unmanned Ares V, which was the cargo launch vehicle for Constellation. NASA selected the Ares designs for their anticipated overall safety, reliability and cost-effectiveness. However, the Constellation program, including Ares I was canceled in October 2010 by the passage of the 2010 NASA authorization bill. Existing Constellation contracts remain in place until Congress passes a new funding bill for 2012.
Advanced Transportation System Studies
In 1995 Lockheed Martin produced an Advanced Transportation System Studies (ATSS) report for the Marshall Space Flight Center. A section of the ATSS report describes several possible vehicles much like the Ares I design, with liquid rocket second stages stacked above segmented solid rocket booster (SRB) first stages. The variants that... Read More