Launch Vehicle

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The Launch Options for two mission 1 possibilities:

SpaceX Falcon 1e (can't inject directly to Lunar Transfer - EOL)

SpaceX Falcon 9 (Will provide all required capacity, stated capacity to provide service.)

SpaceX Falcon Heavy (Beyond required capacity.)

Orbital Pegasus (can't inject directly to Lunar Transfer)

Orbital Minotaur (can't inject directly to Lunar Transfer)

Orbital Minotaur IV (can't inject directly to Lunar Transfer)

Orbital Taurus (can inject directly to Lunar Transfer, but non- standard service)

Dnepr (soon to be EOL'ed)

Piggyback on big booster (might be cheapest, but we'd most likely wind up on a GTO...not quite Lunar 20% to Lunar Transfer Mass)

Something New: Several of our team members are working on new, pressure-fed, liquid fuelled, small booster families embodying most of the recommendations from USAF Lt. Col. John R. London III's LEO On The Cheap. If successful, a dedicated launch service could be provided below the minimum capacities (and well below the prices of) the above listed boosters. Such a booster would have no immediate competition. The first step in moving ahead with this booster is figuring out if there is enough of a market for its services for it to be a worthwhile investment.

The Ascent Roadmap: is one plan to develop low-cost private access to space by the After Columbia Project.

Let's keep all discussions like below (and some of the above) to the Discussion page. I will request the individual authors to study and edit their indivisual contributions. Paul will answer some thoughts and questions below - in the discussion page, as time allows. (Referring to content replaced in the damaged sections of the wiki.

In order to sensibly discuss launch vehicle options for a polar lunar outpost, there needs to be a weight budget. How many tons of hardware must be soft landed on to the lunar surface?

Multiple launches on large vehicles will be needed, e.g. Ariane-V, Delta-IV, Atlas-V, Proton, SLS.

Non-"chemical rocket" options can be developed at relatively low cost, and greatly reduce the cost of lunar landing by over an order of magnitude. Electric propulsion can be used to efficiently transfer payloads from LEO to Luna, as demonstrated by the ESA Smart-1 probe a in the early 21st century. Boeing has commercial contracts to use electric propulsion to transport communications satellites from LEO to GEO, which is more delta-v than a translunar mission.

A lunar elevator can be used to transfer from Lunar L1 (or L2) to lunar equatorial regions, at a capital cost of $800M, using available OTS materials, the first generation elevator will deliver an infinite number of 100 kg payloads softly to the lunar surface, eliminating the cost of chemical rockets.

For lunar polar regions, a momentum exchange tether system can used, as outlined by Hoyt and Uphoff (1999), and others earlier than them.

Ref: AIAA-99-2690 "CISLUNAR TETHER TRANSPORT SYSTEM"; Robert P. Hoyt* Tethers Unlimited, Inc., Seattle, Washington 98125-3236 USA, Chauncey Uphoff† Fortune Eight Aerospace, Niwot, Colorado 80544 USA

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