# Thread: Shuttle to the moon?

1. Established Member
Join Date
Feb 2004
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982

## Shuttle to the moon?

Would it be possible to launch the shuttle to fly to the moon? Is there any real reason the shuttle cannot insert itself into a lunar orbit? I mean you could concievably carry some type of LEM in the cargo bay right?

2. There is a thread about this in the lunar forum:

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=16143
3 pages of pure shuttle moon flight discussion, now if that ain't heart -warming

Enjoy your reading!

3. Established Member
Join Date
Feb 2004
Posts
982
Thanks a ton, I'll dig into it.

4. Not enough fuel to escape Earth orbit.

5. Established Member
Join Date
Dec 2002
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1,467
Orbital velocity is 17,500 mph (7823 m/s). The TLI burn must increase velocity by 3129 m/s to reach escape velocity of 10952 meters/sec (24,500 mph).

The shuttle orbiter weighs about 77000 kg with no payload or propellant. The total OMS propellant capacity is about 11,340 kg. The total OMS delta-V is 300 m/s, assuming a 27000 kg (60000 lb) payload. Propellent is MMH and N204, specific impulse of 313 sec.

IF the entire payload bay was full of an ADDITIONAL 27000 kg of OMS propellant (just propellant no other payload), how much delta-V would that give us? Could we break out of earth orbit?

delta v = Isp g ln(Mr) , where:

delta v = veloc change in m/s
Isp = specific impulse in seconds
g = grav. accel constant (9.8 m/sec/sec)
Mr = mass ratio, i.e., M fueled/M empty (dimensionless)

First get mass fraction:
Orbiter fueled mass is 77000 kg + 11,340 regular OMS fuel + 27000 kg add'l OMS fuel = 115,340 kg total
Orbiter empty mass is 77000 kg
Orbiter mass ratio is 1.49

delta v = 313 sec * 9.8 m/sec/sec * ln (1.49)
delta v = 1223 meters/sec

So even stuffing the entire payload bay full of propellant only gives 1223 meters/sec, far short of the 3129 meters/sec we need to break out of orbit.

It's physically impossible for the shuttle orbiter to reach earth escape velocity, even with the entire payload bay full of additional propellant.

6. Joema, can you post in just 1 thread on the shuttle going to the moon please? I suggest taking the one in the Moon hoax forum, it is 3 pages and going already. Having double threads makes things hard to follow and gives rise to more reading than necessary.

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