Ares V-Y

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Ares V-Y
Mission type Test flight
Operator NASA
Mission duration 1-3 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Altair Mass Simulator
Start of mission
Launch date June 2018
(Cancelled in 2010)
Rocket Ares V
Launch site Kennedy LC-39A
Constellation logo white.svg

Ares V-Y was the proposed designation for the maiden flight of the cancelled heavy-lift Ares V Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle. The rocket launch was supposed to conducted first stage testing, which uses six RS-68 rocket engines currently in use on the Delta IV EELV rocket with two 5.5 segment Solid Rocket Boosters. The Ares V would have had an active Earth Departure Stage, which would have had a single J-2X rocket engine, but it would have not carry the Altair spacecraft. A Constellation derivative of the Apollo Lander Mass Simulator (used on Apollos 4, 6, and 8) would have been be used instead. Ares V-Y was supposed to see the first use of Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, while the Launch Pad 39B was being reconfigured for use as the Ares I launch facility.

Before the cancellation of the Constellation Program, Ares V-Y was scheduled to take place in June 2018. A little over 50 years since the unmanned Apollos 4 and 6 flights. It would have flown a so-called "Shuttle Standard Insertion" flight profile from launch into Low Earth Orbit, allowing NASA to test the SRBs, the five RS-68 engines, and the single, restartable J-2X engine, the last engine being very important in that it would have to both insert the EDS and Altair into LEO, and then after an Orion spacecraft docks with Altair, propel the two vehicles out to the Moon. Once the initial launch sequence had been done, NASA may then have propelled the EDS and its mass simulator into a permanent solar orbit or fire its J-2X engine and have had the assembly crashed into the Pacific Ocean in a manner similar to the de-orbiting of the Space Station Mir in 2001.

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