'Plan B' Rocket Team Observes Moon Landing 40th Anniversary

DIRECT Wants Astronauts Back On Moon Before 50th

Leadership Available for Anniversary Interviews

Jul 16, 2009, 16:07 ET from The DIRECT Team

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The leader of DIRECT, a team of volunteers and anonymous professional engineers proposing an alternative rocket for NASA's planned return to the Moon, has mixed feelings about the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 next Monday.

"Apollo 11 was an incredible achievement and a major milestone in the lives of all of our team members," said Ross Tierney. "It's also a cautionary tale: we stopped exploring the Moon almost as soon as we got there. Our team is working to get humans back on the Moon permanently, before the 50th anniversary rolls around."

To that end, DIRECT has been designing its "Jupiter" launch vehicle for NASA's Constellation Program. The team believes Jupiter would be more affordable and sustainable than the two Ares rockets the space agency is now developing.

The DIRECT Team consists of a small group of space activists representing dozens of NASA and space industry workers, who have worked anonymously and in their own time on the Jupiter rocket for the past three years.

Despite significant initial skepticism, DIRECT's Jupiter concept has garnered the attention of space experts. In June, the team presented its ideas at the first public meeting of a major commission looking at NASA's future, and has subsequently provided in-depth technical information to The Aerospace Corporation, a non-profit company that provides analysis to NASA and the Department of Defense.

DIRECT's Ross Tierney and other public members of the team are available to discuss their Jupiter rocket, the three-year effort to develop and promote the concept, and the team's views on the future of space exploration on this 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

On the Web:

www.directlauncher.com (Background, media images available.)