Author Topic: Orbital ATK Advocates Cislunar Outpost as America's NEXT Step in Human Space Exp  (Read 19950 times)

Online TrevorMonty

The current Cygnus uses chemical propulsion, which is ideal for LEO. The deep space version will most likely use SEP plus chemical.

Offline baldusi

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Well, Falcon Heavy should be able to do at least 14 tonnes to TLI (-1.8km²/s²), and Vulcan/ACES was supposed to do 30% better than Delta IV Heavy (11 tonnes). So, 2025 might have two commercial vehicles that can put 14 or more tonnes to TLI. I would guess that would be plenty for all supply requirements. SLS might bee needed for some rally big module, but the rest can be handled by FH/Vulcan with ease.

Offline BrightLight

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If Orbital-ATK is going to be successful, they will have a proposal that addresses these NASA Cis-lunar objectives (extracted from Research Objectives for Human Missions in the Proving Ground of Cis-Lunar Space, April 2016):
"Research Objectives: Primary mission objectives are listed below. In order to help define details of the mission
architecture, including the means by which the architecture can be supported, more specific research objectives are
• Crew Transportation/Provide ability to transport at least four crew to cislunar space
• Heavy Launch Capability/Provide beyond LEO launch capabilities to include crew, co-manisfested payloads,
and large cargo
• In-Space Propulsion/Provide in-sapce propulsion capabilities to send crew and cargo on Mars-class mission
durations and distances
• Deep Space Navigation and Communication/Provide and validate cislunar and Mars system navigation and
• Science/Enable science community objectives
• Deep Space Operations/Provide deep-space operation capabilities: EVA, Staging, Logistics, Human-robotic
integration, Autonomous operations
• In-Situ Resource Utilization/Understand the nature and distribution of volatiles and extraction techniques,
and decide on their potential use in the human exploration architecture
• Deep Space Habitation/Provide beyond LEO habitation systems sufficient to support at least four crew on
Mars-class mission durations and dormancy
• Crew Health/Validate crew health, performance, and mitigation protocols for Mars-class missions"
« Last Edit: 05/23/2016 08:16 PM by BrightLight »

Offline redliox

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A cis-lunar habitat capable of long duration autonomous flight is basically a Mars transfer vehicle without a propulsion system. Gaining experience building and operating a habitat in cis-lunar space directly feeds into knowing how to build and operate a Mars transfer vehicle.

At the least it's a precursor for a transit vehicle, but you are right in that that a propulsion stage is the only main difference between a Cislunar hab versus a Mars transit/transfer vehicle.  If the radiation shielding and life support can be perfected to handle the lunar environment, which is beyond the benefit of Earth's magnetosphere and convenience of LEO servicing, the same systems, albeit not necessarily same vehicle, could tackle a Mars trip.  Hauling extra snacks along would be wise though.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."