Ares program (The Martian)

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Template:Unsourced In Andy Weir's novel The Martian and in its 2015 film adaptation, the Ares program is a joint NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory space program that, with Ares I, carried humans on Mars's surface for the first time.

List of Ares missions

  • Ares I (2029) – Humans on Mars for the first time.
  • Ares II – Presumably humans on Mars for the second time.
  • Ares III (2035-2036) – Humans on Mars for the third time. American astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead and left on Mars by Commander Melissa Lewis[1][2].
  • Ares IV – Ares III astronaut Mark Watney uses Ares IV Mars Ascent Vehicle before the planned landing of the Mars Descent Vehicle to return safely to the Hermes spacecraft and travel to Earth.
  • Iris – NASA tries to send food to Watney, but the probe explodes a few seconds after the launch.
  • Iris II – NASA and CNSA send a classified Chinese Tayiang Shen booster to the Ares III crew on the Hermes to return to Mars an rendez-vous with Ares IV Mars Ascent Vehicle.
  • Ares V – Humans on Mars for the fourth time. American Ares III MAV Pilot Rick Martinez is the first human to return on Mars.

Spacecraft involved

  • Supply spacecraft – spacecraft (fourteen for the Ares III mission) used to transport to Mars parts of the Hub, the Rovers and eventually the Ares IV/Ares V version of the MAV.
  • Hermes – huge reutilizable NASA/JPL spacecraft used during all the Ares program (excluding the first Iris mission).
  • Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) –
    • Ares III version: ascent stage of the MAV/MDV spacecraft.
    • Ares IV/Ares V version: lander used as unmanned during the landing on Mars and as manned during the take-off.
  • Mars Descent Vehicle (MDV) –
    • Ares III version: descent stage of the MAV/MDV spacecraft.
    • Ares IV/Ares V version: Mars lander used during the take-off from Earth and the landing on Mars.
  • Iris probe – unmanned probe used to send food to an abandoned astronaut on Mars.
  • Iris II probe – NASA/JPL/CNSA probe brought to orbit with the booster originally intended for the classified Chinese Taiyang Shen spacecraft, later sent to the Hermes.
  • First launch vehicle – SLS, Ares I or Ares V-like launch vehicle featured in the Ares V sequence of the film.
  • Iris launch vehicle – launch vehicle used on both the Iris missions


  1. The Martian novel (2011)
  2. The Martian film (2015)