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Launch the CEV with Ariane5
I don't like capsules for LEO launches (I prefer a new, little and safer Shuttle) and I think that a single-launch architecture is better than an 1.5-launch architecture for moon missions, but, since NASA insists to want the Ares_1 and the 1.5 architecture, why they follow the worst way that needs too much money and many years to have the first orbital CEV launch only in 2014-up !!!
Why they don't use the Ariane5 of their European allieds and friends?
I think there are MANY advantages in the "Ariane5 solution" for the Ares_1:
1. Ariane5 is READY AVAILABLE NOW and FLY while the Ares_1 will have its first unmanned test launches only in 2012-up.
2. The core stage of the Ariane5 has the same 5mt. diameter of the lunar CEV/SM.
3. The last evolution of the Ariane5 is able to launch up to 21 mT in LEO (like the ATV) that is the new weight of the resized 5mt. lunar CEV/SM (the total weight of the original 5.5mt. lunar CEV/SM was around 23 mT)
4. Ariane5 needs only to be man-rated and that may be done in two years and with less than $500M (since the Ariane5 was ALREADY designed to launch manned vehicles like Hermes)
5. With the Ariane5 the first orbital CEV launch may happen in 2010 (the year of Shuttle reirement) instead of 2014 (last official date) + further delays and the first moon mission may happen in 2016 instead of 2020 (last official date) + further delays.
6. Each Ariane5 launch costs about $200M instead of the unknown (but, I think, very high) cost of a Ares_1 launch in 2014...
7. NASA don't needs to spend $7 billion of R&D costs (a figure that many think will grow to $10B+ within 2014...) and, with the money saved, NASA can buy fron 35 to 50 Ariane5 (!!!!!!!!!) ...in other words... only with the R&D saved, NASA can buy ALL the rockets they need for ALL orbital missions and ALL moon missions in the next 30 years after 2010 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8. Despite the cost of an Ariane5 is very low, NASA may have them FREEEEEEEEE by simply offer to ESA to send on the moon ONE European astronaut every two moon missions! ...ESA will give ALL rockets FREE and NASA will give some moon-seats FREE !!!
9. If NASA will use the Ariane5 will build its own Cape Canaveral launch pad, but, if they need another pad, may use the Kourou spaceport.
10. If NASA don't receive the giant funds to develop the Ares_1 or the plan will be too slow, they risk the entire plan to be DELETED while, using the ready available Ariane5, they can accomplish the first CEV mission in less time and less money!
11. The Ares_1 don't exist now and its design will be completely different from to-day's rockets... it may be better and works... but may have problems about stability, acceleration, aerodynamic, reliability, delays, etc. etc. etc... then, if the REAL rocket will be not good like "on paper" it will never fly (or never fly manned) and NASA must restart form ZERO with another design! ...while Ariane5 (like other EELVs) already fly!
12. And, if NASA will share with ESA the CEV/SM research and test work, maybe, also the CEV will borns one-two years before than planned.
I'm sure that we can found MANY other good reasons to adopt (NOW) the Ariane5 instead of the (future and uncertain) Ares_1 but I give you ONE REASON that is BETTER than all the 12 already listed here...
LOOK AT THE IMAGE BELOW... DO YOU WANT (AND LIKE) TO SEE THAT IMAGE TO BECOME REAL IN A FEW YEARS... OR WANT TO SEE THE Ares_1 IN 2014-UP ...OR NEVER IF IT DON'T WORKS OR NASA DON'T RECEIVE THE FUNDS ???
June 30 - 2006
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Copyright © 2006 Gaetano Marano - All rights reserved - The base images used for the drawings are © NASA/ESA