National Aeronautics and Space Administration
N A S A
f a c t s
organizations around the nation, and is ledby the Exploration Launch Projects Oceat NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center inHuntsville, Ala. Together, these teams aredesigning and developing vehicle hardware,evolving proven technologies, and testingcomponents and systems. Their work buildson powerul, reliable Saturn rocket and spaceshuttle propulsion elements, as well as nearlya hal-century o NASA spacefight experienceand technological advances. Ares I is an in-line, two-stage rocket toppedby the Orion crew exploration vehicle, itsservice module and a launch abort system.The combination o the rocket’s congurationand Orion’s launch abortsystem, which can moveastronauts away quicklyin case o a launchemergency, will improvecrew saety.The launch vehicle’s rststage is a single, ve-segment reusable solidrocket booster, derivedrom the Space ShuttleProgram’s our-segmentreusable solid rocketbooster, that burns aspecially ormulated andshaped solid propellantcalled polybutadieneacrylonitrile (PBAN). A newly designed or-ward adapter will matethe vehicle’s rst stage tothe second, and will beequipped with boosterseparation motors todisconnect the stagesduring ascent.
America’s Fleet of Next-Generation Launch Vehicles
The Ares l Crew Launch Vehicle
NASA is designing, testing and evaluatinghardware and related systems or the agen-cy’s Ares I crew launch vehicle—the rocketthat will carry a new generation o spaceexplorers saely and reliably into orbit.Under the goals o NASA’s explorationmissions, Ares I is a chie component o thecost-eective space transportation inrastruc-ture being developed by NASA’s ConstellationProgram. These transportation systems willcarry human explorers back to the moon, andthen onward to Mars and other destinations inthe solar system.The Ares I eort includes multiple projectelement teams at NASA centers and contract
Concept image of launch of Ares I. (NASA MSFC)