Space Frontier Foundation Praises Death Sentence for Ares

Space Frontier Foundation Praises Death Sentence for Ares

“Take Back Your Space Program!” Will Fight For Reforms on Capitol Hill

The Space Frontier Foundation today praised the White House’s decision to cancel NASA’s failed Ares rocket programs and instead invest in private enterprise systems as “inspirational” and “a giant leap in the right direction.”

“The reforms announced yesterday fix some of the worst errors of the Bush Vision of Space Exploration,” said Foundation chairman Bob Werb. “More than that, they make NASA exciting and relevant again. Canceling the expensive, ill-fated Ares 1 rocket opens the door for private enterprise to create a safe, reliable and low-cost commercial spaceflight industry, with government as a customer and partner instead of a competitor.”

The Space Frontier Foundation has been fighting to kill Ares I for years.  We predicted this disaster in 2006 , put out press releases, op-eds and worked with our many friends inside NASA, Congress, and both large and small NewSpace companies.

“Our Mind the Space Gap campaign emphasized that Ares was a boondoggle that guaranteed sending more taxpayer money to Russia to pay for Astronaut visits to a space station we mostly paid for,” continued Werb.  “Now the NewSpace industry must step up and fill the Gap, creating jobs and innovation here in America.”

“Finally, America’s space agency is starting to behave like it belongs in a capitalist country,” Werb added.  “Charlie Bolden and Lori Garver are showing faith in free enterprise and we will not disappoint them.”

The Space Frontier Foundation recently announced “Take Back Your Space Program!,” a year-long campaign in which citizens will visit their representatives in Congress to advocate for policies that help open the space frontier.

“Since Congress recently attempted to tie President Obama’s hands and prevent him from changing Bush’s Moon program in any way, it’s essential that the American people urge legislators to support these reforms and stop any further waste of money on Ares ASAP,” said project manager Mike Heney. “This turkey is never going to fly and we should stop throwing good money after bad.”

“Take Back Your Space Program” begins with First Flight, scheduled for the week of February 7-12, 2010.

Citizens who want to help open the space frontier are invited to join the group for First Flight. All volunteers must be US citizens 18 years or older. Volunteers must commit to attend a training on Sunday, Feb. 7 and participate in at least two Congressional office visits during the week. For more information and registration, visit the Take Back Your Space Program website.

Space Frontier Foundation Praises Death Sentence for Ares [pdf]

23 Comments

  • @ghostNASA says:


    hey, politics, engineers, scientists, why are you lose your time?

    you already have the solution to your problems!

    just look towards this side!

    there is only ONE person in the world that has…

    said that the Ares-1 was "too expensive"… in 2005…

    proposed the RIGHT shuttle-derived rocket (the FAST-SLV aka Ares-5-lite) in 2006…

    said that the 5-segments SRB can't work… in 2006…

    said that the Ares-1 can't fly… in 2007…

    etc. etc. etc.

    yes, he isn't american… but, who cares?

    you just need to give away a retired Shuttle to have the solutions to your problems…

    too much?

    no, it's less than 1% of the money burned by NASA to (only) add a 5th segment to the SRB…

    do you REALLY want to SAVE the Constellation and Moon program?

    do you REALLY want to CUT the US spaceflight GAP?

    if the answer is YES then read this article: http://ow.ly/10hxl

  • Gabe Kampis says:

    First of all, what 'reforms announced yesterday ' was Bob Werb talking about?

    I too want Ares 1 scrapped for all the reasons described in your articles and blogs, I also support ISS lasting till 2020. But I hear the shuttle is dead when the current manifest is flown,

    Can't tell you where I heard that from. Is there is a definitive source?

    I do not share your enthusiasm for Mickey Mouse companies such as SpaceX and Orbital. Their track record is not very good, their bigger rockets have not flown and no NASA Astronaut will ever fly with them!

    Dream on – do you think NASA will take $$$$billions from its own budget to fund 'not-made-here' projects? They won't.

    Let the Transportation Department pay for it.

    Smell the roses – the GAP really means US Astronauts will fly Russian for ten years!

    The Russians will get so much money they will finance their own Orionski with US cash!

    The Moon and Mars are dead. The US has no LEO plan after ISS so the Indians, Chinese and Russians will own the Cosmos.

  • Willow says:

    I think it's great Ares is being canceled, although I was a fan of it before, because I understand private enterprise will replace it. I calculate it's possible to put 300,000 kg in LEO via 30 flights each carrying 10,000 kg. The cost is $450 million for all 30 flights, thus working out to $1,500 per kilogram payload to LEO.

    This is a 2-stage rocket system where both stages are reusable. The first stage is 2/3 LH2-LOX and 1/3 CH4-LOX by mass flow rate. The second stage is all LH2-LOX. Stage 1 has an effective exhaust velocity of 3470 m/s and stage 2 has an effective exhaust velocity of 3740 m/s. Both stages are 74% propellant, just under 20% structure, and just over 6% payload.

    This configuration means that only 0.37% of the 2,740,000 kg gross liftoff mass ship is payload. That extraordinarily low payload fraction is more than made up for by the reusability of both stages: each stage can be used 30 times and it's cheaper when it's simpler, hence 2 stages instead of 3.

    Imagine being able to have 2 people on the moon for 6 months with a cost of only $450 million! A persistent presence on the moon then costs just $900 million and when the moon presence is canceled in favor of a Mars mission, the Mars mission can go ahead (carrying 3 people) on the same budget! (This is possible because we would fly to Mars only once every 4 years).

    I assumed the rocket cost is $500 per kilogram of structural mass plus $2.00 for propellant. Private enterprise can do it — cheaper and better!

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  • Paul Lee says:

    Don't forget the Europeans! We're on our way too….

  • Gabe Kampis says:

    Willow … what a great contribution.

    Your trivial hype typifies the entire Commercial Spaceflight community (except Bert Rutan)!

    A little reality check – it would cost several $ Billion to develop engines of the size and nature you envisage. The upper stage engine(s) a cool $1Billion.

    The two reusable stages? Development cost at least $10 Billion.

    That's ~ $14 Billion you have to borrow at 10% interest per annum. Add that to your (dream on) incremental cost per flight.

    What about a launch pad and ground support?

    How do you group together 30 payloads in LEO? Half would re-enter due to air resistance before anyone could get to them.

    Anyone? How do you get people up? You would never get certification. Where would they stay? How do they get to the Moon from LEO? At what cost?

    2 people for six months on the Moon? No. Four people minimum. Mars – 3 people? No – even 4 is too few.

    This response is not personal – c'est pour decourager les autres.

  • […] folks thought Ares was a waste of time, money, and with little or no chance of working well. Heck, the Space Frontier Foundation praises the killing of Ares! So not only is it unfair to lament the death of manned spaceflight, some people think — with […]

  • Gabe Kampis says:

    Someone please tell SFF to straighten up their blogs so that they are in sequence.

    They were originally.

    What happened?

  • fred says:

    Mankind is going nowhere with current rocket technology, in whatever configuration you can fathom.

  • […] Foundation, often a critic of NASA programs and plans as wasteful or counter productive to US space ambitions, finds itself strongly supporting many of […]

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  • lanyards says:

    i don't know how to be react on this because it is very shocking.

  • Is this really shocking though? Think people always relate to tangeable things – rather than taking steps towards something larger…

  • […] folks thought Ares was a waste of time, money, and with little or no chance of working well. Heck, the Space Frontier Foundation praises the killing of Ares! So not only is it unfair to lament the death of manned spaceflight, some people think — with […]