Saturday, May 27, 2017

(Part II) Practical Timelines and Funding for Establishing Permanent Outpost on the Moon and Mars using Propellant Producing Water Depots and SLS and Commercial Launch Capability


Twin Lunar Regolith Habitats (LRH) on the sintered surface of a lunar outpost. Surrounding walls are composed of aluminum panels that are automatically deployed while remaining  attached to the side of the pressurized habitat with each panel  joined together by a surrounding envelope of kevlar). The regolith wall is filled to the brim with lunar regolith, protecting astronauts from heavy ions, micrometeorites, and extreme thermal fluctuations, while reducing radiation exposure below 5 Rem per year. Twin habitats are connected to each other by a pressurized  inflatable tunnel.


by Marcel F. Williams
 
Part II: The Moon 

If NASA is provided with $3 billion in annual additional funding from the DOD, as proposed in Part I of this article, then full funding for NASA's cis-lunar  architecture can begin in 2019.  About $1.5 billion annually could be used for the development of unmanned and crewed single staged extraterrestrial landing vehicles derived from Boeing's 2.4 meter in diameter super light weight cryotank technology. Most of the remaining $1.5 billion in annual additional funding could be used for the conversion of the SLS EUS into a solar powered  propellant producing water depots and into spacious deep space habitats and into regolith shielded lunar habitats. 

Additional human spaceflight related funding for NASA will come from charging guest astronauts from foreign space agencies $150 million for every foreign astronauts participating in a beyond LEO mission for NASA. Since NASA's MPCV can carry up to six astronauts and private commercial companies will be capable of transporting up to seven individuals into orbit, NASA could easily accommodate up to three foreign astronauts per beyond LEO mission, saving NASA up to $450 million per flight. 

Substantially  more funding for NASA will be available once funds currently dedicated for Commercial Crew-- development-- are ended in the early 2020s and the ISS program is, finally, ended in the late 2020s.    

The following notional  SLS and private commercial launch sequences present a scenario for establishing a permanent American presence within cis-lunar space and  on the surface of the Moon  by the mid 2020s while also establishing water mining and propellant producing architecture on the lunar surface and a propellant producing water storage systems at LEO and EML1. During the 2020s, under this scenario, SLS flights will be limited to two launches per year once new RS-25 engines are in production.


Nomenclature: 


ACES-68: United Launch Alliance reusable upper stage with BE-3 LOX/LH2 engine

Credit United Launch Alliance

BA-330: Bigelow Aerospace inflatable habitat that will be inherently designed to protect astronauts from heavy ion radiation.


 CLV-7B: Notional cargo landing vehicle that uses seven Boeing 2.4 meter super light weight cryotanks.  With a water bag attached to the top of the vehicle, at least 35 tonnes of water can be delivered to EML1 from the lunar surface. CLV-7B should be capable of being reused at least ten times. 


CST-100 (Starliner): Boeing Aerospace commercial crew capsule. Combined with an ACES-68 and a Cygnus module, the Starliner could  be utilized as a reusable orbital transfer vehicle within cis-lunar space.  

Credit Boeing Aerospace


Cygnus/Orion: Internally mass shielded external habitat Cygnus module for Orion MPCV to protect astronauts from heavy ions during cis-lunar journeys beyond the Earth's magnetosphere  


Credit Orbital ATK


DSH: SLS/EUS deployed microgravity Deep Space Habitat derived from SLS hydrogen propellant tank technology  


Credit NASA
EML1: Earth-Moon Lagrange point 1



EML2: Earth-Moon Lagrange point 2  


ETLV-4: Notional reusable  crew landing vehicle and orbital transfer vehicle utilizing Boeing's 2.4 meter cyrotank technology and the ULA's IVF technology. Five tonnes of water shielding provides a section of the crew area with protection from from heavy ions. Unmanned version (R-ETLV-4) could be used  to deploy small robotic vehicles or cargo to the lunar surface.



EUS: The exploration upper stage would enable the SLS to deploy up to 105 tonnes of payload to LEO or at least 30 tonnes of payload to the Earth-Moon Lagrange points or low lunar orbit. 

Credit NASA


LRH: Notional CLV-7B deployed Lunar Regolith Habitat derived from SLS hydrogen tank technology that automatically deploys a surrounding regolith wall (eight aluminum panels hinged to the side of the pressurized habitat and joined together by an enveloping kevlar sheet ) filled with lunar regolith  2 meters thick, reducing radiation exposure withing the pressurized habitat to less than 5 Rem per year even during solar minimum conditions



MHT (Mobile Hydrogen Tanker):   Derived from three 2.4 meter cryotanks for fueling reusable landing craft with liquid hydrogen.


 MLT (Mobile LOX Tanker): Derived from a single 2.4 meter cryotanks for fueling reusable landing craft with liquid oxygen.

MPCV (Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle): Would enable the SLS to be used to deploy astronauts practically anywhere within cis-lunar space and return them safely to the Earth's surface. A radiation shielded Cygnus habitat module would be required to adequately shield astronauts from the deleterious effects of heavy ion radiation. 

Credit Boeing Aerospace


MWT (Mobile Water Tanker): Derived from a single 2.4 meter cryotanks for fueling reusable landing craft with liquid oxygen.



OTV-125: Notional reusable EUS derived orbital transfer vehicle utilizing ULA  IVF (Integrated Vehicle Fluids) technology  would be capable of transferring spacecraft and other payloads up to 90 tonnes in mass from LEO to other regions of cis-lunar space

After NASA


SLS: Space Launch System would be capable of deploying 70 to 105 tonnes to LEO or more than 30 tonnes of payload to the Earth-Moon Lagrange points


Credit NASA
 
Water Bug: Notional mobile robotic vehicle that utilizes microwaves to extract water from the lunar regolith at the lunar poles. 


WPD-LV-7A: Notional  propellant producing water depot derived from seven 2.4 meter cryotanks capable of self deploying itself to the lunar surface after SLS launch into orbit. The WPD-LV-7A would be capable of storing up to 70 tonnes of LOX/LH2 propellant and up to 150 tonnes of water.  

WPD-OTV-125: Notional reusable propellant (LOX/LH2) producing water depot derived from the EUS and utilizing IVF technology capable of storing up to 125 tonnes of LOX/LH2 propellant and up to 200 tonnes of water.


WPD-OTV-125@EML1


Notional  launch sequences utilized to progressively establish a permanent American presence on the surface of the  Moon:


2017

First Space X launch of the Falcon Heavy (up to 54 tonnes to LEO)

2018


First  commercial crew launch of the Atlas V/Centaur/CST-100 (Starliner) by the ULA

First  commercial crew launch of the Falcon 9/Dragon by Space X

1. This will be  the beginning of private commercial crew launches to LEO and  the return of crew launches into space  from American soil and


2019

SLS Launch 1: First NASA test launch of heavy lift vehicle  and  unmanned  Orion/MPCV

First  commercial launch of the Vulcan/Centaur by the ULA (up to 20 tonnes to LEO)

1. This will be the beginning of NASA's heavy lift program 



2020

Commercial launch vehicle deploys first private  habitat  to LEO ( BA-330)

1. This will be the beginning of the deployment of private commercial pressurized habitats to LEO by private commercial spacecraft 


2021 

SLS Launch 2: NASA SLS/EUS deployment of  BA-330 to EML1

SLS Launch 3: First  SLS/EUS  launch of a crew aboard the Cygnus/Orion MPCV to EML1

Commercial Launch:  Satellite  lunar navigation system for NASA and DOD are deployed by commercial launch vehicles to EML1 and EML2 (two lunar navigation satellites to EML1 and two lunar navigation satellites to  EML2)


1. The beginning of two NASA SLS launches per year. 

2. Since the SLS is likely to be assembled and operated by a private company, NASA should give that company the option of being able to utilize an SLS vehicle for at least one private commercial launch per year. Such commercial launches could include the deployment of private commercial microgravity or artificial gravity habitats to LEO or the deployments of habitats to the lunar surface.

3. The first test launch of the EUS for an unmanned mission should enhance the safety of the first crew launch later in the year 

4. Since the BA-330 will have more than 40 cm of shielding, that should be more than enough to effectively protect astronauts beyond the magnetosphere from the deleterious effects of heavy ions and radiation from major solar events. 

5. Lunar navigation satellites will enable NASA and the DOD to deploy payloads to the lunar poles and to communicate with astronauts on the lunar surface at the lunar poles. 



2022


SLS Launch 4: Deployment of  EUS derived  propellant producing water depot (WPD-OTV-125)  plus two ETLV-4 reusable landing spacecraft housed within the large  SLS  payload fairing .

SLS Launch 5: Second  NASA SLS/EUS crew launch of the Orion/MPCV to BA-330@EML1 

Commercial Launch:  BA-330 launched to LEO for NASA by commercial launch vehicle 

1. Beginning of water deposition to depots @ LEO and EML1 by private commercial launch companies for NASA (over 100 tonnes of water delivered to EML1 per year; over 200 tonnes of water delivered  to LEO per year)

2. After producing its own propellant at LEO,  the WPD-OTV-125 depots will transport itself and its detachable solar array to EML1

3. An  ETLV-4 vehicles will be tested unmanned, traveling from  LEO and EML1 where it will refuel to return to LEO

4. A second unmanned  ETLV-4 will also travel from LEO to EML1 but will return with astronauts aboard who initially traveled to EML1 aboard the MPCV .

5. MPCV will remain docked at the BA-330 @ EML1 as an emergency escape vessel

6. DOD astronauts will be launched to their LEO BA-330 LEO habitat by commercial crew launch vehicles 



2023

SLS Launch 6:  Deployment of OTV-125 plus  two tele-operated R-ETLV-4 to LEO (destined for the lunar poles).

SLS Launch 7: Deployment of  second  propellant producing water depot (WPD-OTV-125)  plus two more ETLV-4 reusable landing vehicles.

Commercial Launch: First ULA Vulcan launch with reusable ACES 68 upper stage (up to 40 tonnes to LEO with the addition  solid rocket boosters)

Commercial Launch:  BA-330 launched to LEO for DOD by commercial launch vehicle


1. The MPCV will no longer be used to transport astronauts to EML1. 

2. The two unmanned R-ETLV-4 vehicles will make their first landings at the lunar poles (one to the north lunar pole and the second to the south lunar pole). They will both return to EML1 with regolith samples from both lunar poles less than two weeks after landing. Crewed ETLV-4 vehicles will transport the regolith samples back to LEO and Commercial Crew vehicles will return the crew and lunar samples back to Earth. 

3. OTV-125 will be used to transport heavy SLS payloads (up to 90 tonnes) from LEO to other regions of cis-lunar space.

4. 51 years after the last crewed American lunar landings, American and foreign astronauts  will use two ETLV-4 vehicles to conduct the first crewed mission to the lunar surface, . One ETLV-4 will transport the other ETLV-4 to low lunar orbit from EML1 and then back to EML1 after the other ETLV-4 returns the crew from the lunar surface. A third ETLV-4 will transport the astronauts back to LEO where Commercial Crew vehicles will transport them back to the Earth's surface.

Two reusable ETLV-4 vehicles would be required for crewed sorties to the lunar surface from EML1 and back. But once propellant is being manufactured on the lunar surface, only one ETLV-4 vehicle will be required for missions to the moon and back to EML1.

2024

SLS Launch 8: Deployment of two CLV-7B to LEO and then transported to EML1 by reusable OTV-125: Fueled at the EML1 depot, the first CLV-7B will have an  ATHLETE robot that will deploy electric powered excavation vehicles, sintering vehicles, , backhoe, lifting crane,  to the south lunar pole. The second EML1 refueled  CLV-7B will be used to deploy  four mobile solar arrays with more than one MWe of  total electric power capacity to the South lunar pole.

SLS Launch 9: A  single  CLV-7B to orbit plus a second  OTV-125 orbital transfer vehicle plus a single CLV-7B carrying a Lunar Regolith Habitat (LRH) will be deployed to LEO. The OTV-125 will transport the CLV-7B and the LRH to EML1. Fueled at EML1, the  CLV-7B to deploy a LRH to the already sintered landing area at the lunar outpost at the South lunar pole.


Commercial Launch 1:  BA-330 launched to LEO for DOD by commercial launch vehicle and then transferred to EML1 by OTV-125

Commercial Launch 2: Cygnus/CST-100/ACES deployed to LEO by Vulcan launch vehicle for utilization as a reusable crew orbital transfer vehicle within cis-lunar space

1. Teleoperated mobile microwave robots will sinter areas for landing spacecraft, deploying solar arrays, and for habitat modules, and for propellant depots will be created  

2. Electric powered backhoes will deposit lunar regolith withing the automatically deployed regolith wall surrounding the pressurized habitat providing astronauts with radiation exposure levels less than 5 Rem per year during solar minimum conditions and protection against micrometeorites and radiation from major solar events. 

4. First NASA and DOD astronauts transferred between LEO and EML1 by private commercial  ACES-68/CST-100/Cygnus.  The use of reusable private commercial orbital transfer vehiclees will allow NASA  to use its reusable ETLV-4 vehicles exclusively for crew missions to the lunar surface from EML1.   
  
 5. Reusable teleoperated ACES-68 space vehicles could also refuel at NASA LEO depots in order to deploy satellites to GPS, geosynchronous, and polar orbits. An Delta IV heavy, for instance can only deploy a satellite weighing up 6.7 tonnes into geosynchronous orbit; but it could place four such satellites into low Earth orbit which could later be transferred to GEO by the ACES-68.
 
5. Reusable teleoperated ACES-68 vehicles could also be used to transfer duplicated military satellites to EML4 where the could be safely stored away and monitored and redeployed if a similar satellite is damaged.


2025

SLS Launch 10: Deployment of two Deep Space Habitat (DSH) to EML1 for OTV-125 deployment to EML1(NASA)  and EML4 (DOD)

SLS Launch 11: A second SLS launch will deploy a single  CLV-7B to orbit plus a second  OTV-125 orbital transfer vehicle. Transported by the OTV-125 to EML1, the fueled CLV-7B to deploy a LRH (Lunar Regolith Hab to the lunar surface.

Commercial Launch: BA-330 launched to LEO for DOD by commercial launch vehicle and then transferred to EML4 by OTV-125


1. The DSH will allow NASA to test the integrity of SLS EUS derived pressurized habitats

2. DOD operations at EML4 aboard the BA-330 and DSH will involve the repair and refueling of zombie satellites for later redeployment and the monitoring and testing  of back up satellites located at EML4. If a strategically valuable satellite is destroyed or disabled, back up satellites located at EML4 will be deployed.


2026


SLS Launch 12: SLS deployment of two WPD-LV-7A to LEO. Vehicles refuel at LEO and self deploy themselves to EML1 and then self deploy themselves to the lunar outpost. Alternatively, both vehicles could be transported to EML1 by an OTV-125 before being fueled for lunar deployment.

SLS Launch 13: SLS deploys two CLV-7B to LEO. OTV-125 transports the vehicles to EML1 where they will refuel. One CLV-7B will be carrying a mobile hydrogen tanker (MHT) derived from the 2.4 meter cryotank technology plus  four   Water Bug water extraction robots
the second  CLV-7B will carry two mobile water tankers (MWT), two mobile LOX tankers (MLT


1. The teleoperated Water Bugs will use microwaves to extract and store up to a tonne of water from the lunar regolith at the lunar poles. Teleoperated MWT will be used to extract the water from the Water Bugs and then deposit the water into the WPD-LV-7A propellant producing depots. 

2. Teleoperated MHT and MLT units will extract the liquid hydrogen and oxygen from the WPD-LA-7A depots in order to refuel the reusable ETLV-4, R-ETLV-4, and CLV-7B vehicles.

3. Teleoperated MWT will be used to extract the water stored at  the WPD-LV-7A in order to fill up water bags tied securely on top of the reusable CLV-7B vehicles in order to transport lunar water to the propellant producing water depots located at EML1.


 So, before the end of 2026, under this scenario, thanks to the additional DOD funding ($3 billion annually), NASA will have one BA-330 habitat at LEO and one at EML1. The DOD will also have one BA-330 at LEO, one at EML1, and one at EML4. NASA will also have a DSH at EML1 while the DOD will have a DSH at EML4. And  NASA will also have two habitat modules (LRH) at the south lunar pole, the beginning of America's permanent human presence on the surface of the Moon!


So under this scenario, before the end of 2026, the DOD will have periodically occupied microgravity outpost at LEO and EML1 while NASA will have a water storage and propellant producing  outpost at EML1 and a water producing, storage, and propellant producing  outpost at one of the lunar poles. Such a water and propellant producing extraterrestrial infrastructure should make it relatively easy for NASA to quickly and sustainably expand America's realm to the orbit of Mars, to the moons of Mars, and to the surface of Mars-- using much of the infrastructure developed for cis-lunar space and the surface of the Moon.

 The conclusion of this article (Part III: Artificial Gravity and Mars)  will be posted next week.  


 Links and References

Practical Timelines and  Funding for  Establishing  Permanent Outpost on the Moon and Mars using Propellant Producing Water Depots and SLS and Commercial Launch Capability (Part I)

Reusable Heavy Cargo and Crew Landing Vehicles for the Moon and Mars

The ULA's Future ACES Upper Stage Technology

Protecting Spacefarers from Heavy Nuclei

The Case for a US Miltary Presence at LEO and Beyond

Congress Requires NASA to Develop a Deep Space Habitat

Utilizing the SLS to Build a Cis-Lunar Highway

An SLS Launched Cargo and Crew Lunar Transportation System Utilizing an ETLV Architecture


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Practical Timelines and Funding for Establishing Permanent Outpost on the Moon and Mars using Propellant Producing Water Depots and SLS and Commercial Launch Capability (Part I)

Two SLS launch vehicles with 10 meter payload fairings. The vehicle to the left will be able to deploy at least 70 tonnes of payload to LEO. The vehicle to the right with its  EUS upper stage will be able to deploy up to 105 tonnes to orbit (Credit NASA). 

by Marcel F. Williams

Part 1: NASA & the DOD


Establishing a permanent human presence on the surface of the Moon is the most  expedient and economical way to eventually  establish a similar permanent human presence on the surface of  Mars. But as  long as NASA continues to spend $3 to $4 billion a year on its big LEO program (the ISS), it is doubtful that the American space agency can adequately  fund its beyond LEO efforts--  without a significant increase in its annual human spaceflight related budget. 


So under this scenario, the ISS program is continued. But starting in 2019,  an additional $3 billion is added to NASA's human spaceflight related budget by the DOD (Department of Defense).  In exchange,  NASA will be committed towards eventually deploying  microgravity and artificial gravity habitats, and lunar and martian surface outpost for the exclusive use and occupation by DOD personal. And such habitats will be derived from similar habitats used my NASA or the private space industries.   

Under this scenario,  DOD funding would also require NASA to provide military astronauts with access to LEO through private commercial spacecraft  and to its beyond LEO habitats either through NASA or private spacecraft.  

So for less than  0.6% ($3 billion) of the annual DOD budget, the ISS program and NASA's beyond LEO program could both be adequately funded while also enabling  DOD personal to have a permanent strategic  presence within cis-lunar space and eventually on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars.

Private American commercial space companies and their astronauts and paying customers will soon  be joining NASA and foreign space agency personal in the New Frontier. So it will be  important for  US companies to know that their investments, hired  personal, and their paying customers will be protected from possible intimidation and coercion from  foreign governments and other hostile organizations. 

The DODs role in space would, therefore, be similar to the role that the US Coast Guard has in America's territorial waters on Earth. And this should prevent  private companies from having to spend money developing  their own private space defense forces  in order to protect their property and personal in space from the  potential hostile  interest from potentially  hostile strategic  competitors such as China and Russia. 

Positions of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Points (Credit: Maccone)

A DOD Earth-Moon Lagrange point presence at EML3, EML4, and EML5 would allow the US military to deposit, protect, and to quickly deploy backup satellites in case US satellites of strategic importance are seriously damaged by terrorist or a hostile foreign power. 

DOD habitats could also be a place for emergency refuge and medical treatment for DOD and NASA astronauts, personal and customers from private space agencies, and for personal from foreign space agencies. So the first extraterrestrial sickbays and hospitals in the New Frontier might be operated by the DOD. So military physicians and nurses might be an important part of the military personal deployed to  all extraterrestrial  habitats under the control of the DOD.

In  2018, Russia intends to charge NASA  $81 million for each NASA astronaut transported too and from the ISS  aboard Russian launch vehicles and spacecraft. Additional funding for NASA's beyond LEO efforts could also come from charging foreign space agencies $150 million for each foreign astronaut participating in a NASA beyond LEO mission.  This could save NASA at least $150 million or more, depending on how many foreign astronauts are allowed to participate in a  beyond LEO mission. NASA could also allow foreign astronauts participating in a mission to the Moon or Mars to  eventually return  to the Earth with up to 10 kilograms  of material retrieved from the lunar or martian surface for their  own space agency's (an absolute bargain) that also helps to reduce NASA's recurring cost for  human missions.  

Part II of this article (The Moon) 

Marcel F. Williams


Links and References

The Case for a US Miltary Presence at LEO and Beyond

Declassified: U.S. Military's Secret Cold War Space Project Revealed (Newly released documents describe the U.S. Air Force's secret cold war project known as the Manned Orbiting Laboratory)

 LUNEX

NASA is paying Russia more than $70 million to bring an astronaut home in this spaceship tonight

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