The Ares-5 lunar heavy cargo launch vehicle was a concept for a heavy lift launch vehicle derived from heritage launch vehicle technology. It was to use a pair of longer five-segment solid rocket boosters derived from the Space Shuttle and five RS-68 Engines of Delta-4 heritage to put up to 125 metric tons in orbit. While the core stage was originally to be based on the Space Shuttle external tank (ET), it was later to have a larger diameter. The second stage was to be powered by a J-2X engine derived from the Saturn-5 upper stage engine. This stage was to share many systems with the upper stage of the Ares-1. This versatile system was to be used to carry cargo or put the components needed to go to the moon and Mars into orbit. Eventually, the heavy-lift rocket could be modified to carry crew as well.
In June 2008, the baseline design was upgraded to six RS-68 engines and two 5.5 segmented SRBs.
In February 2010, the development was cancelled. As a replacement in the heavy lift role, NASA selected the SLS rocket in 2011.
|Version||Strap-On||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Ares-5||2 × SRB-5.5||6 × RS-68||EDS / J-2X|
No: Serial: Type: Fai Date LS Payload