New baseline for heavier/taller Ares V

by David Harris

A new optimized form of the huge Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) has been revealed in an updated graphic and data baseline that has been acquired by Ares V is a vital component of NASA’s 1.5-launch architecture that will return NASA astronauts to the moon at the end of the next decade, and is the largest vehicle the agency will construct since the Saturn V.
Huge amounts of VSE related insider news and presentations – THE most comprehensive place to follow Ares/Orion development – are available for download on L2. See list at the end of this article.


**ARES V / Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV) LIVE UPDATE PAGES**


Compared to the August 2006 baseline, the vehicle is now 6,150 lbs (2789.5 kg) heavier and some 6.6ft taller. Insertion altitude is up from 78nmi to 122nmi – and the final orbit in now 120nmi circular instead of 30x160nmi. Payload using the 1.5 launch scenario has changed from 65.4mt to 63.4mt, and gross LSAM (Lunar Surface Access Module) mass from 45.4mt to 43.2mt 

The core stage carries 9,782 lbs (4436kg) more propellant, while the EDS (Earth Departure Stage) carries 8,259 lbs (3745 kg) less. Engine thrust for the J2-Xd is 294,000 @ 448 sec ISP. The EDS is six feet longer, but carries less propellant. It also appears that the propellant protection is being looked at in more detail, hence the changing propellant loads and EDS design. 

By far the most important change is the reduction of loiter time in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) from 90 days to just 14. However, the plan is to launch the crew the day after the LSAM/EDS stack. A window opens every four days after that, so there will be three chances before the propellant in the EDS ‘boils off.’ 

The changes are part of an early – ongoing – process, which is receiving only a small amount of work, as NASA concentrates its limited Constellation budget on the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), which is required primarily for US manned access to the International Space Station (ISS), before becoming the manned vehicle that will return NASA astronauts to the moon.

Such as the budget constraints at present, some work on the Ares V engines has been halted. 

Meanwhile, Ares I is continuing to undergo large scale evaluations through its design cycles, which is next due for a design/program review which will take place on May 23. This will be followed by a two week program-wide stand-down. 

‘The Constellation Program is planning a Strategic Planning Retreat in the middle of June 2007,’ noted NASA information acquired by

‘The Program is requesting that during the two week program wide stand down, May 28 to June 8, the project leadership use the time to socialize the Program Excellence Team (PET) roles and responsibilities within their teams and to use the opportunity to get further feedback from the working troops on ‘what’s working and what’s not.’

‘One day of the planned retreat will discuss the feedback with the intent to prioritize the feedback in groups and pick the most critical to launch Kaizan events within the following quarter.’ 

An ‘All Hands’ meeting was also conducted at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) on Thursday, which related to the Constellation program. 

‘Marshall team members supporting the Constellation Program had an opportunity to hear the latest program update and to ask questions of Mike Griffin, Scott Horowitz, Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley and Marshall’s Exploration Launch Projects Manager Steve Cook during an informative all-hands meeting,’ noted Thursday’s Marshall Star. 

‘Two of the agency’s three management councils also are part of this week’s activities. The Strategic Management Council, led by Griffin, met to discuss topics related to NASA’s strategic direction at the vision and mission level.’ 

Selection of L2 Resources For Ares I, V and Constellation: New Ares V graphic and baseline data. Large collection of hi res Orion paracute drop tests. SIX Part Series of Ares I Upper Stage Graphical Overviews. DAC-1C DDD Vast Slides on Vehicle Design. ATK First Stage Presentation. 39B Lightning Towers Slides. DAC-1C Departure points to DAC-2 Upper Stage Graphcs (Many Changes).

Orion/CEV Display Layout Presentation (40 pages) – Feb 5. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV – Feb 2. Weather Shield (Rain Shield) for Orion on the pad – Feb 1. New Super hi-res images of Ares I – Feb 1. ATK Cutaway graphics of Ares I – perspective and axonometric – Feb 1. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. CEV Paracute Assembly System (CPAS) Presentation.

Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) overview presentation – Jan 16. Major changes to Ares I Upper Stage – expansive details and data. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. Saturn Twang Test Video for use with Ares I-1R. CLV Umbilical Trade Matrix XLS.

Vehicle interfaces for the DAC 1C version of Orion Ares – Jan 3. Ares I-1R Test Flight Plan (full outline) Presentation. Ares I-1 timeline and modification expanded info. Ares I troubleshooting latest. Ares I Reference Trajectory. Boeing’s STS to Ares – Lessons Learned Presentation. Latest Ares I and Ares V baseline Configuration image and data. CLV DAC-1C (Changes to CLV Upper Stage).

Ares I-1: Four Seg+Dummy ‘Tuna Can’ stage. Ascent Developmental Flight Test Presentation. CLV Pad 39B Handover Info and Latest. New images of CLV on top of new MLP and LUT. Lockheed Martin CEV/Orion Updates. Constellation news updates. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV.

90 Minute Video of Constellation all hands meeting. CLV TIM Meeting Information. CLV/CaLV Infrastructure, Timelines and Information. Escape System Trade Study Presentation.

CEV-CLV Design Analysis Cycle Review (DAC-2) Presentation. Constellation SRR updates. CLV Stick – Troubleshooting/Alternatives/Updates. New CEV Images (include abort mode). Flight Design and Dynamics Division CEV update. CLV Mono-propellant RCS system. CEV pressurisation system review. CLV/CEV Configuration Images. The 2×3 Seg SRB Crew Launch Vehicle Option Presentation…plus more.


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