COMPARING MISSION MANIFEST
This proposal ultimately boils down to one fact: That for the same cash investment, more real-world return can be generated by spending it differently.
This can only be portrayed in terms of missions accomplished for the same money. Below are both the current Ares Mission Manifest and the equivalent DIRECT Mission Manifest:
DIRECT 3 Roadmap
The $20+ billion that DIRECT will save compared to Ares can be applied in a variety of ways to further enhance global space exploration. To ensure manned access to space, DIRECT first intends to human-rate one or both of the EELV's and fund COTS-D. Because developing the commercial sector is key to future development in space, DIRECT will provide a 400-800mt market for commercial propellant launches to an orbital propellant depot. This will allow the Jupiter launchers to be used exclusively for more beyond earth orbit missions, where the commercial capability has yet to be developed. The international partners will also be able to launch propellant in return for a greater role in the exploration missions themselves, including seats on the missions. In addition, DIRECT allows the ISS extension to 2020 and beyond option to be fully funded and supported by EELV, Commercial, International, and Jupiter launches.