Ares I is not dead but Ares V could have one foot in the grave

by | Jul 9, 2009 | Ares, Constellation, NASA, Orion | 4 comments

Notice anything different about the image of the slide above, compared to most other Constellation programme schedules? It is the complete lack of any milestone for the Ares V cargo launch vehicle and its Altair lunar lander, all the way out to 2020

This might seem like a silly oversight but this slide is from the pre-proposal conference for the Exploration ground launch services contract that will be awarded in 2010. Flightglobal spoke to NASA about this and you can read the agency’s response in this story here

The Obama NASA budget request looked bad for Ares V with $25 million in FY2011 when Bush’s 2008 budget request gave it more than ten times that in that year. Then the conceptual design contract was put on hold for the Review of US human spaceflight plans. If that wasn’t bad enough for the CaLV the EGLS slide indicates that Ares V will not be seen anytime soon. Some might see that as an indication that Ares I’s future is bleak, as the two rockets are linked as part of a 10-15-year (2005 to 2020) Moon return architecture. Only time will tell

There has also been mention in the blogosphere of potential changes for Ares I-Y. The change is clear in this chart above. Note the March 2014 date for Ares I-Y when the 2 February 2009 Multi-Programme Integrated Milestone chart you can find on the web has the date as third quarter calendar year 2013, a nine month slip

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