Author Topic: Marshaling Resources in LEO - Propellant Aggregation and Vehicle Assembly  (Read 1246 times)

Offline sdsds

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In many discussions LEO propellant aggregation and vehicle assembly are mentioned either directly or at least tangentially.  The concept often seems like "the obvious thing to do," at least for large missions.  Realistically, what are the alternatives?

[Disclaimer:  some discussion participants will recognize I have an agenda of sorts for this, as evidenced in this thread.]

Here's my "straw man" list of alternatives to LEO:

Integration on the ground only
    - For large missions this implies heavy lift
Integration at the destination, e.g.:
    - Lunar surface rendezvous
    - Progressive lunar base development
    - Mars surface rendezvous, etc.
Integration at a "waypoint", e.g.:
    - EML1 or EML2 depot/station
    - Phobos station en-route to Mars surface
    - Lunar station en-route to Mars (?)
Hybrid schemes using one or more of the above

There is a chart (page 17) in a presentation attributed to Connolly available at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar_knowledge/connolly.pdf which talks some about the advantages of marshaling in LEO (specifically aggregating propellant there).  Are there other similar summaries that could be recommended as the basis for discussion?  And for what kinds of missions does this approach really make sense?  Is there some analysis that helps (or would help) in setting the bounds within which this approach should be considered?
-- sdsds --

Offline JohnFornaro

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Just noticed this thread.  I've been interested in the cracking of lunar ice into H2 and O2.  Say that's a done deal.  The two applications for that fuel are to launch crew from the lunar surface, and to launch fuel to the L-point depot.

I just thought there's be a bit more discussion on this.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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