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Illustration of an ARES launch vehicle

While most launch vehicles have some benefit from Tinkertech, this is usually rather small, with the bulk of space vehicle development done the "old fashioned way". However, that is certainly not universal.

Starting in 2003, the NUCLEUS division of the Parahuman Response Team began working on a secretive project---an all-Tinker launch vehicle specifically for Parahuman payloads. After some negotiations, PRT officials secured a lease on site 35 at Kennedy Space Center, and three years (and half a dozen failures) later, the first ARES rocket took off from the Space Coast, carrying a boilerplate testbed.

ARES (which stands for Advanced Rocket for Engineering Support, an awful acronym but critics agree is a step up from the name of the Cheyenne Mountain complex) is a three-stage rocket capable of delivering 50,000 kg to low earth orbit, or 15,000 kg to GTO. The exact Tinkers who are responsible for development are not publicly known, for security reasons, but it is believed that over a dozen have contributed to the programme. The Orlando Protectorate will often do PR events around the launches in exchange for security services (an arrangement NASA and CCSFS often take advantage of as well).

Today, ARES rockets are mostly used for PRT payloads, most notably the Overlord surveillance satellites tasked with monitoring the numerous quarantine zones and disaster areas created since the arrival of Wild Hunt. However, a select few have launched payloads for other government agencies.