June 12th, 2009, Glenn Research Center – Cleveland, Ohio
“All great nations through history have explored; it’s in our DNA to explore space.” Scott Graham presented NASA’s New Rockets on Friday, June 12, 2009. In the upcoming years at NASA, great changes have to be made because of old technology. For example, the Space Shuttle has to be retired because it is inefficient to always transport equipment to the ISS via Space Shuttle and, if the crew just needs to be taken there, it is not the best vehicle for it.
In the 28 years that Scott Graham has worked for NASA, he has seen great people change the world through their innovation. He believes that NASA’s role in the upcoming exploration is because of inspiration, innovation, and discovery. The lunar missions give the space community (NASA in particular) a chance to re-learn how to explore the universe on a smaller scale. A Mars mission would be more lengthy and costly for NASA to invest in, so a great option of testing the current technology without wasting a mission is through the Constellation Program, starting with the Moon. This new program allows all 10 NASA Centers to play a role in the Ares mission.
Ares II, III, and IV did not ever exist in the drawing plans because Ares I and Ares V pay homage to the original Saturn I and Saturn V. This program looks at the past of NASA in regards to the Moon, but looks forward to the great leaps and bounds we will take with the newest launch vehicles that are set to be tested in September of this year. The plans, as always, are tentative and could change due to the newest Presidential administration. Glenn, however, is proud about the role the Center has played in advancing the knowledge of space to the global community, and is eager to see where Ares will eventually take the world.