Evaluating Lunar Base Conceptual Designs

by Brent Helleckson, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Richard Johnson, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
George W. Morgenthaler, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


A large number of competing lunar base conceptual designs have been proposed in recent years. The range of assumptions and technologies used in these designs makes comparison difficult. However, conceptual design choices must be made and some technological choices abandoned because time and resources will not allow the testing of all approaches. A methodology is developed to allow comparison of several different mission options within as given conceptual base design, and is based on: the efficiency by which mass delivered through Low Earth Orbit is converted to useful mass at the lunar surface; the amount of scientific payload delivered; the expected time to complete the proposed base. An example base design and logistics system design is presented. The methodology is used to examine the question of expending versus reusing the lander and the method of offloading the lander.

Subject Headings: Space colonies | Structural design | Conceptual design | Logistics | Space structures | Space frames | Orbits

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