Appendix F
The Constellation Program

NASA’s Constellation Program is currently composed of the four development programs described below: Orion, Altair, Ares I, and Ares V.

  • Orion—According to NASA, “Orion will be capable of carrying crew and cargo to the space station. It will be able to rendezvous with a lunar landing module and an Earth departure stage in low-Earth orbit to carry crews to the moon and, one day, to Mars-bound vehicles assembled in low-Earth orbit. Orion will be the Earth entry vehicle for lunar and Mars returns. Orion’s design will borrow its shape from the capsules of the past, but takes advantage of 21st century technology in computers, electronics, life support, propulsion and heat protection systems.”1

  • Altair—According to NASA, “Altair will be capable of landing four astronauts on the moon, providing life support and a base for weeklong initial surface exploration missions, and returning the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will bring them home to Earth. Altair will launch aboard an Ares V rocket into low Earth orbit, where it will rendezvous with the Orion crew vehicle.”2

  • Ares I—According to NASA, “Future astronauts will ride to orbit on Ares I, which uses a single five-segment solid rocket booster, a derivative of the space shuttle’s solid rocket booster, for the first stage. A liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen J-2X engine derived from the J-2 engine used on Apollo’s second stage will power the crew exploration vehicle’s second stage. The Ares I can lift more than 55,000 pounds to low Earth orbit.”3

  • Ares V—According to NASA, “Ares V, a heavy lift launch vehicle, will use five RS-68 liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engines mounted below a larger version of the space shuttle’s external tank, and two five-segment solid propellant rocket boosters for the first stage. The upper stage will use the same J-2X engine as the Ares I. The Ares V can lift more than 286,000 pounds to low Earth orbit and stands approximately 360 feet tall. This versatile system will be used to carry cargo and the components into orbit needed to go to the moon and later to Mars.”4



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Appendix F The Constellation Program NASA’s Constellation Program is currently composed of the four development programs described below: Orion, Altair, Ares I, and Ares V. • Orion—According to NASA, “Orion will be capable of carrying crew and cargo to the space station. It will be able to rendezvous with a lunar landing module and an Earth departure stage in low-Earth orbit to carry crews to the moon and, one day, to Mars-bound vehicles assembled in low-Earth orbit. Orion will be the Earth entry vehicle for lunar and Mars returns. Orion’s design will borrow its shape from the capsules of the past, but takes advantage of 21st century technology in computers, electronics, life support, propulsion and heat protection systems.”1 • Altair—According to NASA, “Altair will be capable of landing four astronauts on the moon, providing life support and a base for weeklong initial surface exploration missions, and returning the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will bring them home to Earth. Altair will launch aboard an Ares V rocket into low Earth orbit, where it will rendezvous with the Orion crew vehicle.”2 • Ares I—According to NASA, “Future astronauts will ride to orbit on Ares I, which uses a single five- segment solid rocket booster, a derivative of the space shuttle’s solid rocket booster, for the first stage. A liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen J-2X engine derived from the J-2 engine used on Apollo’s second stage will power the crew exploration vehicle’s second stage. The Ares I can lift more than 55,000 pounds to low Earth orbit.” 3 • Ares V—According to NASA, “Ares V, a heavy lift launch vehicle, will use five RS-68 liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engines mounted below a larger version of the space shuttle’s external tank, and two five-segment solid propellant rocket boosters for the first stage. The upper stage will use the same J-2X engine as the Ares I. The Ares V can lift more than 286,000 pounds to low Earth orbit and stands approximately 360 feet tall. This versatile system will be used to carry cargo and the components into orbit needed to go to the moon and later to Mars.” 4 1See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/orion/index.html. Accessed May 18, 2008. 2See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/altair/index.html. Accessed May 18, 2008. 3See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/index.html. Accessed May 18, 2008. 4See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/index.html. Accessed May 18, 2008.