MALEO: Modular Assembly in Low Earth Orbit: An Alternate Strategy for Lunar Base Deployment

by Madhu Thangavelu, Univ of Southern California, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


Modular Assembly in Low Earth Orbit (MALEO) is a new strategy for building an initial operational capability lunar habitation base. In this strategy, the lunar base components are brought up to Low Earth Orbit by the Space Transportation System (STS)/Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) fleet, and assembled there to form the complete lunar base. Modular propulsion systems which are also assembled from components brought up by the STS/HLLV, are then used to transport the MALEO lunar base, complete and intact, all the way to the moon. Upon touchdown on the lunar surface, the MALEO lunar habitation base is operational. A typical MALEO scenario is described. Major operational advantages of this strategy over conventional ones are discussed.

Subject Headings: Space colonies | Orbits | Space construction | Space stations | Vehicles | Systems engineering | Aircraft and spacecraft | Modular structures

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