Shuttle-Constellation Transition
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Shuttle-Constellation Transition

June 25, 2009
An artist's rendition of a an Ares I rocket at Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The pad, previously used for Apollo and shuttle launches, will be modified to support future launches of Ares and Orion spacecraft. Ares I is an in-line, two-stage rocket that will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle to low Earth orbit. Orion, which will eventually carry humans back to the lunar surface, will accommodate as many as six astronauts. Ares I's first stage will consist of a single reusable solid propellant rocket booster similar to those used on the space shuttle, with an additional fifth segment. The second, or upper, stage will consist of a J-2X liquid oxygen- and liquid hydrogen-fueled main engine and a new upper stage fuel tank.

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