Huntsville (AL) – For the past 10 quarters, NASA has created videos which highlight advancements and achievements made on the Ares rocket program. Ares is the launch vehicle that will lift heavy cargo into orbit after the Space Shuttles are scheduled to retire in 2011. NASA announced on Wednesday that 5-15 minute videos are now available on iTunes.
Ares I and V heavy cargo launch vehicles
The Ares rocket is a traditional rocket-style vehicle. Unlike the Space Shuttle which looks like an airplane, the Ares rocket series is a much more powerful craft. It’s currently scheduled to take man back to the Moon, and to explore Mars and possibly the rest of the solar system.
Previous launch videos have included the full spectrum of research from conception to the latest testing. Wind tunnel analysis of scale models of Ares I test vehicle (called Ares I-X) was shown. Also, a complete disassembly of the J-2X engine, called the “powerpack.” This engine is really a complex system which, in a very high volume and controlled manner, spews pure liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen through jet nozzles for explosive propulsion.
Additional videos have included information on the first pieces of the craft being welded together using a relatively new welding process called “robotic friction stir welding” (RFSW). RFSW is a nearly defect-free process of joining metals together through forge temperatures and high pressure friction. Other crucial components, such as the parachute, reusable first-stage and recent crew-safe ejection mechanisms have all been shown.
The Ares Project team resides and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. They manage the development of the Ares rockets, which will be used as Ares I and Ares V rockets for the Orion crew module and the Altair lunar lander (for return to the moon).
The iTunes link will show you the most recent video. Visit NASA’s Ares website to see previous videos. Information is also available on the Constellation program, which includes the Orion crew module and Altair lunar lander. Other podcasts available from NASA can be found here.