DIRECT is an alternative approach to launching missions planned under NASA’s new mandate: The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). DIRECT would replace the separate Ares-I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and Ares-V Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) with one single “Jupiter” launcher, capable of performing both roles. This change to NASA’s architecture completely removes the costs & risks associated with developing and operating a second launcher system, saving NASA $19 Billion in development costs, and a further $16 Billion in operational costs over the next 20 years. DIRECT’s single launcher system would use existing Space Transportation System (AKA the Space Shuttle) facilities and hardware to lift over 45 tons (in basic configuration) up to more than 100 tons (with an Upper Stage).
June 20th, 2008