Low Earth Orbit Infrastructure to Accommodate Manned Lunar Missions

by William M. Cirillo, NASA Langley Research Cent,
Eric L. Dahlstrom, NASA Langley Research Cent,
Patrick A. Troutman, NASA Langley Research Cent,
J. Kirk Ayers, NASA Langley Research Cent,
Laura M. Waters, NASA Langley Research Cent,
Karen D. Brender, NASA Langley Research Cent,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II


In order to establish bases on the lunar and Mars surfaces, a significant amount of orbital infrastructure including assembly platforms, cryogenic fluids depots, and Space Station Freedom, will be required in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). These facilities will be required to perform a myriad of functions ranging from orbital demonstration of advanced technology systems, establishment of life science capabilities, to servicing and refurbishment of reusable Lunar Transfer Vehicles (LTVs). This paper addresses the requirements levied on these facilities and provides an overview of potential LEO infrastructure elements that satisfy various advanced manned missions. Finally, of key importance to the success of the manned lunar mission are (1) the evolutionary growth of Space Station Freedom to serve as a Transportation Node, and (2) the development of a Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicle (SDLV) to deliver mission elements to LEO.

Subject Headings: Space colonies | Vehicles | Space stations | Aircraft and spacecraft | Orbits | Moon | Case studies | Lifeline systems

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