NASA announced today that it had awarded the contract on the upper stage of the Ares I rocket to Boeing in Huntsville, Alabama, with final assembly to be performed at the NASA facility in New Orleans.
The Ares I is a two-stage rocket is designed to carry the Orion exploration vehicle to low Earth orbit. The Orion is the successor to the space shuttle for NASA’s manned space exploration program. While the Ares first stage is a solid rocket, Boeing’s second stage is fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Both are part of NASA’s Constellation Program, which includes such sparklies as the Lunar Access Service Module.
NASA’s Constellation Page has a bunch of amazing videos and artist’s conceptions, well worth the browsing for space geeks.
Image from NASA.gov