NASA Issues Contract for Ares I and Ares V Launch Vehicles

As reported by NASA.gov, NASA has issued a contract for the first stage of the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles. What are the Ares rockets? Turns out they’re the boosters on the Constellation program, which includes the Orion spaceship that’s supposed to take humans to the moon. Part of the program was originally that the exploration systems were planned to use methane-oxygen fuel, which can be mined in situ from the lunar or Martian soil. That resulted in heavy criticism due to the highly speculative nature of the technology, and NASA has gone back to rocket fuel in its current plans.

Artist’s conception of Orion courtesy of NASA.

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