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Shuttle News

There Are Several Reasons Not To Fly Any More Ares

By Keith Cowing
May 19, 2010
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Bolden at odds with Nelson on Ares I tests , Orlando Sentinel
“I can’t pay for an Ares I today. It’s too expensive,” said Bolden, speaking after a meeting of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. “That’s an easy decision for me because it wipes out everything. My friend Sen. Nelson, and he is my friend to be quite honest, we respectfully agree to disagree on this. It is incredibly costly for me to go off and try a series of Ares I tests to support a heavy-lift at the present cost of solid rocket motors. Now, there is an answer. Get the cost down. And ATK (prime contractor for the Ares I) says they can do that. But we’re not there right now.”
Keith’s note: There is another wrinkle to the whole issue of SRBs, Ares, and Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicles – one that has not gotten much attention – yet: OSTP and others in the White House are concerned that these solid rockets are heavy polluters (1.1 million pounds of propellant each) and that it is time to move to something far less dirty to launch things into space.
When we send things into space, does it affect our atmosphere? ozone layer?, Yahoo ANswers
“… 23 tons of harmful particulate matter settle around the launch area each liftoff, and nearly 13 tons of hydrochloric acid kill fish and plants within half a mile of the site … the environmental cost per launch is the same as that of New York City over a weekend.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.