Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ares V

Cargo LV
Credit: © Mark Wade
American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NASA baseline heavy-lift vehicle to renew manned lunar exploration by 2020.

The Ares Cargo LV would use two five-segment versions of the shuttle's RSRM rocket motors as lateral boosters (the standard RSRM had four segments). The core would be a stretched version of the shuttle's external tank, with five RS-68 engines engine mounted on the base (the first September 2005 version of the design used expendable versions of the shuttle SSME engine). This basic vehicle could deliver 130 tonnes to low earth orbit. However, normally it would be used with an upper stage for manned lunar missions. On such missions the basic vehicle would separate from the upper stage while still suborbital. The upper stage, also based on the external tank but powered by one J-2S engines, would insert itself into an earth parking orbit. Its payload would be a lunar lander. After up to thirty days in orbit, a manned Orion spacecraft would rendezvous and dock with the upper stage and lander. The upper stage would launch the lander and CEV toward the moon, then separate.

For later manned Mars expeditions, four launches of the Ares V would be required to assemble the Mars spacecraft in low earth orbit.

LEO Payload: 124,600 kg (274,600 lb) to a 160 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Payload: 54,600 kg (120,300 lb) to a translunar trajectory.

AKA: Cargo Launch Vehicle.
Status: In development.
Gross mass: 3,360,000 kg (7,400,000 lb).
Payload: 124,600 kg (274,600 lb).
Height: 109.20 m (358.20 ft).
Diameter: 8.40 m (27.50 ft).
Thrust: 32,629.61 kN (7,335,427 lbf).
Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • LSAM American manned lunar lander. Study 2018. Lunar lander proposed by NASA in 2005 for their planned return to the moon by 2018. More...

See also
  • Ares The design selected to boost America's Orion manned spacecraft into space in the 21st Century was a family of launch vehicles dubbed Ares. Originally sold as being derivatives of space shuttle technology, tinkering by NASA engineers and necessary changes during development quickly resulted in the designs being essentially all-new. After inevitable delays and cost escalation, the Ares was cancelled in 2010. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • 5 Segment RSRM Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 751,212/100,350 kg. Thrust 15,480.36 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 265 seconds. Five-segment version of Shuttle RSRM studied in 1999-2003 to increase shuttle payload to ISS. Test fired in 2003 but not proceeded with. Another version proposed in 2005 for use as lateral boosters for the Constellation Cargo Vehicle. More...
  • Ares Stage 1 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 787,700/64,200 kg. Thrust 8,705.99 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 453 seconds. Core vehicle proposed by NASA for Project Constellation exploration of moon and Mars. It would use shuttle external tank tooling. All masses estimated. More...
  • Ares Stage 2 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 172,000/13,200 kg. Thrust 1,113.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 465 seconds. Second stage proposed later in design stage by NASA for launch of CEV into low earth orbit. All masses estimated. More...

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