Ares Lives! (maybe)

Ares I-X Rocket Into the Blue (NASA, 10/28/09)

Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK), has joined forces with Astrium, the European company that builds the Arian 5 Rocket, to design a rocket with components of both the Ares and Arian systems called “Liberty”.

By combining the designs of the Arian and Ares rockets, this joint venture hopes to reduce development time and costs to produce a less expensive, human space flight rated, 22 ton capable launch system that could be ready to carry astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2015. It would use the same launch facilities as the Space Shuttle and Constellation programs.

NASA proved last year that the Ares rocket flies. Now, perhaps some of the people and contractors who made the rocket can ride it forward into the growing commercial space flight industry. We may yet get to see Ares, as part of this Ares/Arian hybrid, launch payloads into space after all and get a chance to make its mark on history. Also, it would keep former shuttle components that were planned for Constellation in production, to reduce the costs of future NASA endeavors that require those components.

~ by Bill Housley on February 9, 2011.

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