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Friday, June 30, 2006

The ARES Logo

CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLE Update: I’m too lazy to put this in my own words, so I just copied and pasted this from the main NASA website: "NASA has named the launch vehicles that will return humans to the Moon and later take them to Mars and other destinations. The crew launch vehicle will be called Ares 1, and the cargo launch vehicle will be known as Ares 5. Ares is the Greek god associated with Mars, and the "1" and "5" designations pay homage to the Apollo-era Saturn 1 and Saturn 5 rockets that took astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s. The Crew Exploration Vehicle (the cone-shaped capsule at the top of the Ares 1 rocket, shown below), which will succeed the space shuttle as NASA's spacecraft for human space exploration by September of 2014, will be named at a later date."

The Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle
The Ares 1 Crew Launch Vehicle

Just to reiterate, the name Ares was chosen because it is the name of the Greek god associated with Mars. Sure, Ares is actually the Greek god of war, but do you really think that NASA chose it because the space agency’s full of angry, sadistic people who want to scrap? Being that I don’t work for NASA, of course not. But if I did work for the agency, I’d name the new launch vehicles Reaper...as in THE Reaper. Reapers’ 1 and 5... I like the sound of that.


The Ares V Earth Departure Stage
The Ares 5 Earth Departure Stage

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The mission logo for STS-121.

Discovery a "Go" for launch... At 2 PM (Pacific Daylight Time) on Wednesday, June 28, countdown is set to begin for NASA’s second space shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster. Liftoff is targeted for 12:49 PM (PDT) on Saturday, July 1st. Here’s hoping that the launch will go virtually flawless (in the sense that only a few small pieces of foam insulating the external fuel tank will be shed during the ascent into orbit) and Discovery has a safe and successful flight. Should mission STS-121 succeed, space shuttle Atlantis is set to launch on August 28th to resume assembly on the International Space Station (on mission STS-115), and space shuttle Discovery (or possibly Endeavour) is set to launch again on STS-116 this December 14. I hope I’m not jinxing it, haha.

STS stands for Space Transportation System (which is the official, nerdy title for the space shuttle), in case you were wondering. Which I hope at least one of you were. Carry on.

The crew of Space Shuttle Discovery poses at Launch Pad 39B with the external fuel tank and a solid rocket booster in the background.
The crew of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-121.