Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ares Stage 2


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 172,000/13,200 kg. Thrust 1,113.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 465 seconds. Second stage proposed later in design stage by NASA for launch of CEV into low earth orbit. All masses estimated.

Status: In development.
Gross mass: 172,000 kg (379,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 13,200 kg (29,100 lb).
Height: 16.00 m (52.00 ft).
Diameter: 10.00 m (32.00 ft).
Span: 10.00 m (32.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,113.00 kN (250,212 lbf).
Specific impulse: 465 s.
Burn time: 640 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ares I American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Shuttle-derived launch vehicle design selected by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to boost the manned CEV Crew Exploration Vehicle into low earth orbit. A single five-segment version of the shuttle solid rocket booster would be mated with a Lox/LH2 upper stage powered by a single J-2S engine. More...
  • Ares V American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NASA baseline heavy-lift vehicle to renew manned lunar exploration by 2020. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

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