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Picture of the Week: What’s in a Name? May 24, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in Ares I, Ares V, Mythology, Orion (craft), Space Shuttle.

That is the vessel with which NASA’s Constellation astronauts will launching efforts towards the Moon, and eventually, Mars. The Ares rocket, with Ares I carrying the crew and Ares V carrying the cargo, is the first replacement for the Space Shuttle (which launched both cargo and crew at once). The Ares is the launch vehicle, with the spacecraft per se being the Orion.

Ares, the god, interestingly is (as Wikipedia puts it): “…more accurately the god of savage warfare, or bloodlust, or slaughter personified”. Lovely. I perhaps might have chosen a, ah…more diplomatic name for the vehicle launching our space efforts, though the choice technically comes from Ares’ Roman alter ego/incarnation: Mars, the warrior god, a form in which he was more honored in society (second only to Jupiter, in fact). Fun fact: the month of March is named after Mars.

Hopefully our efforts on the Moon and Mars have a lot more truth and introspection than bloodlust and slaughter personifed (“That’s no moon…”).



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