Ares Quarterly Update Lithographs: July 2009
07.24.09
 
Artist concept of the Ares I crew launch vehicle, integrated vehicle Vehicle Integration
Ares I is an in-line, two-stage rocket configuration topped by the Orion crew exploration vehicle and its launch abort system. In addition to the vehicle's primary mission -- carrying crews of astronauts to Earth orbit -- Ares I may also use its 25-ton payload capacity to deliver resources and supplies to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
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Artist concept of the Ares I crew launch vehicle first  stage First Stage
The launch vehicle's first stage is a single, five-segment reusable solid rocket booster, derived from the Space Shuttle Program's four-segment reusable solid rocket booster, which burns a specifically formulated and shaped solid propellant called polybutadiene acrylonitrile (PBAN). A newly designed forward adapter will mate the vehicle's first stage to the second, and will be equipped with booster separation motors to disconnect the stages during ascent. (Credit: NASA)
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Artist concept of the Ares I crew launch vehicle upper stage Upper Stage
Taking the Ares I on the second phase of its journey from Earth will be the spacecraft's upper stage, powered by the J-2X engine. A self-supporting cylindrical structure, the Ares I upper stage will be approximately 18 feet in diameter and 84 feet long. On the launch pad, the upper stage -- including the J-2X engine -- will account for approximately one-quarter of the total height of the Ares I. (Credit: NASA)
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Artist concept of the Ares I crew launch vehicle, upper stage engine Upper Stage Engine
Powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the J-2X is an evolved variation of two historic predecessors: the powerful J-2 upper stage engine that propelled the Apollo-era Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets in the 1950s and 1970s, and the J-2S, a simplified version of the J-2 developed and tested in the early 1970's but never flown. The J-2X will measure about 185 inches long and 120 inches in diameter at the end of its nozzle. It will weigh approximately 5,300 pounds. With 294,000 pounds of thrust, the engine will enable the Ares I upper stage to place the Orion crew exploration vehicle in low-Earth orbit. (Credit: NASA)
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