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An Aries Ib in circumlunar orbit
Aries II
A "real" Aries Ib depicted in the movie

The Aries is a Lunar/Mars lander from the World of 2001, and one of a few vessels being presented in the film 2001 A Space Odyssey.

In general Aries has a few specified versions:

Aries I: Lunar landers

Aries Ib – Nuclear-powered lunar lander. The development of nuclear engines was first adapted to highspeed passenger transport to the moon.

Aries Ic – Cargo-only version of the Aries Ib.

Aries II: Mars landers

Aries IIb – Like the Ib, but adds an Aeroshell for Mars landings. Also replaces some LH2 with LOX tankage for LANTR (LOX-Augmented Nuclear Thermal Rocket) application. To boost takeoff thrust and allow liftoffs from Mars, LOX is added in the nozzle of the nuclear engine as a sort of afterburner.

Aries IIc – Cargo version of the Aries IIb

These versions were built to use small, mass-produced nuclear rocket engines. Using Particle Bed Reactor technology and using all the tricks learned from the early missions to Mars, the Aries engines achieve superb efficiency at the cost of lower thrust than their chemical-engine counterparts.

The World of 2001


Spacecraft: Aquarius | Aquarius Id | Aries | Bondarenko | Centaur-O | Draco | Gagarin | Herculis | Komarov | Komarov-bis | Merkur | Moonbus | Orion | Patsayev | Polaris 1-XE | Rocketbus | Skorpion | Taurus | Titov V | Titov G

Space stations: Cytherean Station One | Space Station III | Space Station IV | Space Station V

Surface bases: Aberporth | Baikonur | Brest | Canberra | Cape Canaveral | Clavius Base | Cuxhaven | Hainan | Kadena AB | Korolevgrad | Lunar Observatory | Moscow | Phobos Base | Port Lowell | Prime Base | Serenitatis Base | Tchalinko | Tranquility Museum | Tycho | Washington