Now let's talk about the hardware, because this is about building launch
vehicles, building spacecraft, because that's what we're about, and that's
where we need to go. Behind me you can see the Ares I on the right and the
Ares V on the left.
Ares is the Greek name for the god of Mars, and that is our goal. Because our
goal is to get to Mars. It's not just to go to the moon. It is to go to the
moon, to establish a long-term presence, learn how to operate, and then to move
In Apollo, we designed one launch vehicle, in the end, the Saturn V, to be able
to take everything we needed to take to the moon. The approach we're taking
today is two launch vehicles: Ares I will take up the crew and Ares V will
take up the lander and the cargo systems that we need to do it.
Let's talk about size. Size is important. Of course, we started with the
Saturn IB. The Saturn IB, which is the most equivalent to what we are talking
about with the Ares I, was 224 feet tall and weighed 1.3 million pounds on the
pad. The Ares I will be 328 feet tall and weigh 2 million pounds on the pad.
That's because Mr. Halsell's first stage over here, which is derived from the
shuttle SRB, weighs so much. [laughter] If we could get a little weight
reduction going there, Jim, and we'd be even better. [more laughter]
Now let's go on to the mighty cargo vehicle, the Saturn V. The Saturn V was
364 feet long; that was before the cryo shrinkage there. The Ares V will be
almost as long, 362 feet long. The Saturn V weighed 6.6 million pounds sitting
on the pad. The Ares V will weigh 7.3 million pounds. This will be the
largest liquid-fueled stage, the most powerful rocket, that we will have ever
Now, as far as similarities go, the Saturn V, as you know, was 33 feet in
diameter. The Ares V will also be the same diameter, and that's by no accident
-- that is the largest-diameter stage that we can build in the Michoud Assembly
Facility down in New Orleans. That is the same place the Saturn V was built,
the first stage, the S-IC. That is where we build the external tank today,
and that is where we will build the Ares I upper stage, and that is where
we will build the Ares V core stage, and the Ares V earth departure stage.
That was actually sized for liberty ships in World War II even before that.
So, it's interesting where these size issues come along.
As far as propulsion goes: The Saturn IB was powered by eight H-1 LOX/kerosene
engines and it had a one J-2 upper stage, and had 1.5 million pounds of thrust
off the pad. The Ares I will use a solid rocket booster derived from the
shuttle that we use today. It will have 3 1/2 million pounds of thrust off the
pad. The astronauts will know that they are lifting off when they take off the
pad. [laughter] One very key similarity, though, is when you look out here at
the Saturn V laying there on its side in the Davidson Center or standing up and
you see the S-IVB stage, that is very similar to the upper stage behind me over
here on the Ares I. It is also powered by a derivative of the J-2 engine, what
we call a J-2X, to be powered by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Engines that
they're building today.
So, we're taking the best of shuttle, best of Apollo, bringing them with modern
capabilities and technologies, and moving on with the engines. Again, taking
pages out of the playbooks of the past.
Now, we'll talk about the Ares V, which is our heavy-lift vehicle. The Saturn
V had 7 1/2 million pounds of thrust at launch; we've got to out-do that! We
will have 10 1/2 million pounds of thrust at launch. We knew that the Saturn V
blew out windows all over south Huntsville. How many of you had windows that
shattered in south Huntsville? Raise your hands. [chuckles]
Well, unfortunately, we can't test those here in town any more. [laughter]
But we think some folks in south Mississippi [heroicrelics: presumably near Stennis Space Center] might have that
This thrust blast is actually -- how many remember the Nova? Remember the
Nova? That was von Braun's dream to go beyond the Saturn V. This actually
puts the Ares V in the world of Nova class. Whereas the Saturn V could throw
100,000 pounds into lunar orbit, which is what its key measure was, the Ares V,
in combination with the Ares I, can throw 33% more, 133,000 pounds. That
additional capability allows us to take additional crew to the lunar surface.
Where we could only take two in Apollo, we will be able to take four. Where we
were only able to stay for a few days at a time, we will go and stay for seven
days at a time. Where we could only go to the mid-equatorial regions, we will
be able to go anywhere we want to go on the lunar surface and return any time
from our stay. Because the point now isn't just to go and beat someone,
the point is to go, to stay, to learn, and then to move on to Mars and beyond.
Let's talk about the spacecraft: The Apollo spacecraft was 13 feet in
diameter and had a volume of 210 feet. The Orion is 16 1/2 feet in diameter
and has a volume of almost 400 cubic feet; that is 80% more. So, John Young
keeps reminding all these astronauts, "You've got way too much room! You don't
need anywhere near that much room." [laughter] And we're only carrying one
more crew member. Because our goal here is to be able to take four crew to the
lunar surface. Now, we will also be able to ferry up to six astronauts,
however, to the International Space Station, because, in the interim, we're
going to be able to take crews to the International Space Station because we
will have an orbiting laboratory which is a direct descendent, obviously, of
Skylab and the lessons learned there and to be able to go to the moon. So,
this will be a much more robust program than what we were able to do then.
And, in terms of astronauts, obviously a key difference was, Apollo was all
male, and now we obviously have male and female crew that are going.
And in the end, when Apollo ended, we stopped exploring past our world. We
turned our focus on the Earth, and we focused on developing a space
transportation system which was to, we hoped, develop routine transportation to
and from lower Earth orbit. It turned out to be a much bigger challenge than
we anticipated. It is, out this side door right here [gesturing toward the
Shuttle Pathfinder in the
plaza behind and outside the stage], a technological marvel known to man today.
It is a great machine, but now it is time to turn our focus again outward and
to get on with exploring, pick up where we left off 38 years ago, and move on
back to the moon and to Mars.
So I'd like to end, returning to the similarities between Apollo and
Constellation, then as now, many people ask -- and I'm sure you get this
question as well -- "Why are we spending money on space when there are so many
more important things we can do right here on Earth?" I get this question
quite frequently, and I'm sure you do as well.
In the end, much like physics has not changed much since then 1960s, amazingly
so, so have the answers to this question. In 1970, Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger,
Associate Director of Marshall Space Flight Center, received a letter from a
nun doing relief work for the poor in Africa asking this question. He wrote
back in length.
He began his letter, relating a story about a small town in Germany which was
ruled by benign count who gave a large part of his income to the poor. He was
much appreciated because of the poverty and epidemics of plague which ravaged
his country during those times.
One day he met a strange man who ground small lenses from pieces of glass,
mounted the lenses in tubes, and used these "gadgets" to see very small
objects. He invited the man to move his laboratory into his castle, become a
member of his household, and continue his work.
The townspeople became very angry and thought he was wasting his money. The
count replied, "I'll give you as much as I can afford, but I will also
support this man and his work because I know that some day something good
will come of it."
Something good did come out of his work: the microscope, an invention that
made major contributions to the progress of medicine and helped in ending the
plague. The count, by using some of his spending money for research and
discovery, contributed far more to the relief of human suffering than he could
have contributed by giving all that he could directly to his community.
Stuhlinger concluded his story by saying, "The situation we are facing is
similar in many respects."
He would be right in 1970 and he would be right today. If anything, the
reasons for exploring space have become even more urgent today than they were
more than 40 years ago. We are losing our technological edge because we are
losing our capabilities to produce scientists and engineers in this country in
drastic numbers today. Space exploration is considered the ability to be a
world leader. If we do not continue to take up the mantle of space
exploration, other countries will do so. The Chinese are doing so today, and
the Indians are not far behind. The Europeans and Russians are already there.
We must continue to do so.
Space still represents the ultimate frontier for learning and testing of our
knowledge. It provides a means for improving and developing our technology.
It helps to inspire, education, and improve the skills of our next generation
of explorers and our workforce, and going into space does improve life here on
Earth by making us try to do new and difficult things. And, as I remind my
friends, every dollar spent on space is spent here on Earth.
Again, I appreciate the opportunity to be with you here this evening on this
great, eventful occasion, to honor the past and think about the future and the
great work the men and women have accomplished here in this town, and we will
accomplish in the future.
Thank you very much.
He then announced that Saturn/Apollo team members should report for the taking
of the traditional reunion photo and that there would be a fireworks display in the west parking