wooferhound writes "In a move to make the heavy-lift vehicle more robust (predicting an increased launch thrust requirement) to send four astronauts, a lunar lander plus supplies, NASA has announced the Ares V rocket will be beefed up to cater for our future needs to get man back to the Moon. This huge vehicle is now designed to carry payloads of over 156,600 lb (71,000 kg), some 15,600 lb (or 10%) more than the original concept. Ares V was originally designed to be approximately the same length as the original Saturn V lunar rocket (361 feet or 110 metres long), but to accommodate an extra booster engine and extra payload volume, Ares V will be 381 feet (116 metres) long. This upgrade will be capable of sending far more instrumentation into space, an extra 15,600 lb (7,000 kg, or the equivalent mass of a male African elephant)."
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