Author Topic: Can SLS/Orion carry a Lunar lander with ascent vehicle and surface habitat?  (Read 5022 times)

Offline Jim

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Um? What size crew do you think NASA is planning to send on Mars missions?
What does that have to do with the Orion? It can only land in Earth's oceans, and Steven Pietrobon here says that it is too small to be used as Apollo's CSM. So I don't understand what it has been designed for, it seems to be completely useless by design.

It was designed for 4 on a lunar mission where the lander would do the lunar orbit insertion and to return 6 people to earth from a Mars transfer vehicle.

Apollo SM was overdesigned since it originally was going to lift off the moon's surface.

Offline AncientU

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IMHO Use separate launches to send a reusable lander, a lunar orbit space station with hanger for the lander and a SEP tug to deliver propellant plus other consumables. Then further landings just need to send the Orion with crew and a few supplies.

So, you're  saying it would take four SLS flights...  Worth noting that we don't have a reusable lander, or a Lunar orbit space station (with or without a hanger for the lander we don't have), or an SEP tug to deliver propellant, or the technology demonstrated for in-space refueling.  Not a problem, since we don't have SLS either, or Orion.

If we had some bacon, we could have bacon and eggs for breakfast... if we had some eggs.
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Offline TakeOff

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Shouldn't the SLS be used to launch to LEO with the to-be-developed Lunar lander and ascent stack, and the upper stage needed to get to Lunar orbit and back, while a Dragon or Starliner is used for launching the crew to dock with it and be their transfer habitat and Earth lander, on a rocket that is human rated and frequently launched and proven? It would add the mass of the Dragon or equivalent to the mission and the SLS would not need its launch escape tower or other burdens of human rating. Wasn't it a sound idea of Ares V and I to keep heavy cargo launches separate from crewed launches?

I don't see how the Orion is useful for a program of putting humans on the Lunar surface. One would have to pick up a boulder from some asteroid and put it in Lunar orbit in order to find any use of the Orion. One has to redecorate space in order to make it look useful. It kind of lacks the matching colors by design.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 02:34 AM by TakeOff »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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IMHO Use separate launches to send a reusable lander, a lunar orbit space station with hanger for the lander and a SEP tug to deliver propellant plus other consumables. Then further landings just need to send the Orion with crew and a few supplies.

So, you're  saying it would take four SLS flights...  Worth noting that we don't have a reusable lander, or a Lunar orbit space station (with or without a hanger for the lander we don't have), or an SEP tug to deliver propellant, or the technology demonstrated for in-space refueling.  Not a problem, since we don't have SLS either, or Orion.

If we had some bacon, we could have bacon and eggs for breakfast... if we had some eggs.

We do not have eggs but we do have a hen house. Hens lay eggs. ☺

About four SLS flights would be needed to construct the infrastructure; additional landings need a single SLS flight and SEP tug trip. Each large lunar habitats is likely to need an SLS to get it to lunar orbit.

Reusable lander - currently we do not have a reusable manned lander but ULA has announced that they plan to convert their new ACES upper stage into the reusable propulsion module of a reusable lander called XEUS. A crew cabin will however need developing.
http://masten.aero/vehicles-2/xeus

The lunar orbit spacestation has a name the Deep Space Habitat. A couple of ground prototypes are being developed as part of NextSTEP-2 program. The hanger module would need developing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Space_Technologies_for_Exploration_Partnerships

SEP tug - the propulsion module of the ARRM spacecraft is a SEP tug. Build a second SEP tug and make its payload a fuel tank. (IMHO ARM is part of the SLS/Orion development but has its own line item.)

In-space refuelling - the Russians have refuelled the ISS. The NASA Docking System (NDS) has an enhancement supplying connectors for fuel and oxidiser.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Docking_System
A test mission to test rendezvous, docking and propellant transfer using enhanced NDS would only be a medium difficulty mission. The two spacecraft could be launched on a Falcon 9 or Atlas V.

The Block 1 SLS is due to fly Exploration Mission 1 within a couple of years, the hardware is currently being assembled. Doing a Moon mission with Block 1 SLS would be difficult but difficult and impossible are different words.

Offline AncientU

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So long as the NASA can do it all model is used, the results will be what they have been*.
We'll be stuck in LEO until we simply quit sending humans to space.

Time for a different model.

*(Definition: Insanity... doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.)
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Offline Jim

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*(Definition: Insanity... doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.)

Yep, like posting the same things over and over in thread like these.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 12:08 AM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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We'll be stuck in LEO


A likely outcome until something other than chemical rockets come along

Offline MATTBLAK

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Chemical is fine for Cislunar activities and LEO. And for some Mars mission scenarios, it works too. But some sort of significant 'leverage' is needed to accomplish true deep space missions without the logistics getting completely out of hand with 'Giantism' and massive costs. Propellant Depots, Solar Electric Propulsion and ISRU have all or in part been identified as ways to stop veritable oceans of chemical propellants being burned to send people and cargo around the solar system. A mixture of Propellant Depots, SEP and ISRU could enable a lot, without getting into expensive and politically volatile nuclear propulsion systems of various 'flavors'.

But we have to be pragmatic - until more leadership and technology development is in better supply; we can look forward to only more and more studies, designs and Powerpoints... :(
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 01:27 AM by MATTBLAK »
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