2008-Nov-18, 05:30 PM
It's time for a third lunar chapter. We've talked about the physical characteristics of the Moon, and the exploration. Now we're going to talk about the plans to return to the Moon. From the upcoming lunar reconnaissance orbiter to the plans to have humans set foot on the Moon again, for the first time in more than 50 years.http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/astronomycast/~4/GKw1vZZ0HYQ
2008-Nov-21, 09:28 PM
I saw the mock up of the new luner capsule last December on a visit to Nasa in Florida. It's quite exciteing to see there will be a return to the moon in my life time. The new capsule is considerably bigger than the first one with a four man crew.
2012-Jun-18, 02:41 AM
Here's how to return to the moon, post-haste:
1) Conduct qualification tests for SSME re: use of Tri-propellent. In this case, liquid Beryllium + Oxygen + Hydrogen (Base I(sp)=458.5 sec, compared to liquid O2 + H2 of 381 sec).
2) Rework Energia Core (stage1) w/lightweight SSET material. Swap out 4 RD-180 engines for 4 SSME.
3) Go back to Grumman Corp. and have them build lunar landers again.
-- Avoid the weight penalties of using non-crushable landing legs.
-- Actually DO THE WORK to wrap 8,122 kg propelent tank with MMOD material; therefore avoiding much of the bleed-off inherent in working with liquid hydrogen in orbit (cools as well as protects from impacts).
-- Swap out the 136.077711 kg LMDE for a modern 277 kg RL-10B-2 engine.
-- Replace old, outdated maneuvering with I(sp) 400 sec RL-1500H thrusters.
-- Reduce all masses using modern equipment (with electronics radiation hardened)
Resulting vehicle should mass out around 1,921.7 kg. Improvements to the systems would allow a maximum gross mass of 16,043.7 kg to be propelled from LEO to LLO and to land on the lunar surface. Total Delta-V: 8,088.726 m/sec
Since you're sending the rocket to the moon, where there's no atmosphere, you could swap out liquid O2 + H2 for LF2 + H2, gaining a performance boost equal to allowing you a total Delta-V: 8,492.1 m/sec. (more than sufficient for the required mission)
4) Equip. 6 Dragon capsules as for Mars-One.com mission profile. Two are launched with two TLI Boost/Lunar Landers every launch. That means you need 3 launches to get where you're going.
5) Estimated Cost, current (2012) values: $4,565,566,824 (4.57 Billion U$D). Oh, and that would help out almost all of the out-of-work, ex-NASA employees, boost the Russian (Ukrainian, French, possibly Italian) economies. Launch one mission every lunar month (29.53059 Earth days), in cycles 9 months between. ALL of the equipment is currently available for purchase/manufacture. Only the qualification of the SSME and weight reduction programs would introduce unknown aspects into the mix.
NASA's administrator said in 2005 that it would cost $105 Billion US to send 4 men to the moon again. His assumptions were that the US Government would be funding the work (almost always a mistake...c.f. Boondoggle), that it would be a return-trip vs. a colonization effort (which requires 2-3 times the coordination, equipment, etc, etc), and had to use 'Approved NASA Vendors.'
Side Note: Bigelow Aerospace could do the same thing for about 3/4 the cost. Preposition everything required into a single BA 330 unit, at the ISS, then use a TLI booster to propel it from LEO to LLO, with a Lunar Drop Lander performing the final stage. If the unit is inflated to around 5 psi vs. 14.7 psi (which is what you'd have to live at, if you lived on the moon--otherwise you have to redesign specifically for low-pressure plants, etc...also alleviates 1/4 of the Human Issues of living on the moon: Low Gravity, Low Pressure, MicroMeteor/Meteor Impacts, Cosmic Radiation)
Once their BA 330 arrives, send an Orion-size capsule, complete with lunar rover with scraper blade (i.e., a Lunar Bulldozer), to plow soil down to bedrock, then pull BA 330 module into the trough. Cover with regolith, leaving upper 1/4 of BA 330 open to space. That allows the William Yuan-designed solar panels to absorb sufficient light to power the installation, once the 3-member crew removes them from inside and installs them on the "roof." (They're 500 times more efficient than standard solar, 9 times more efficient than 3D nano designs. Beaverton, Oregon...look it up!) They would mass out around 100 - 250 kg. (Or 300 - 450 kg, if you let NASA design them!)
LEO/LLO Low Earth Orbit/Low Lunar Orbit
LMDE Lunar Module Descent Engine
MMOD Micro-meteorite/orbital debris wrap.
RD-180 Soviet copy of RS-58 engine, aka SSME
RL-10B-2 An RL-10 engine with an I(sp) of 462 sec/thrust of 110 kN, vs. 311 sec/44.04 kN for LMDE.
SSET Space Shuttle External Tank
SSME US Space Shuttle Main Engine
2012-Jun-18, 05:37 PM
Energia would be more expensive than SLS, which is pretty much the same build. Dynetics is to work on the F-1. I would have loved to see Energiya brought back though. Maybe that Soviet billionaire that was on 60 Minutes awhile back is listening. The RD-180 is a kerosene engine, a two nozzle half-strength version of the four nozzle Zenit/Energiya strap-on RD-170.
Energiya's core block used RD-0120 hydrogen oxygen engines with channel wall I think. That makes it more like RS-68 or the RS-25/SSME
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