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Title: Ferry to the moon

Abstract

Solar-electric propulsion for a fleet of lunar ferry vehicles may allow the creation of a permanent lunar base not long after the turn of the century with greater cost effectiveness than a fleet of chemically powered spacecraft. After delivery by the Space Shuttle to a 300-km earth orbit, the lunar ferry envisioned would travel in spiral trajectory to the moon under the power of 300-kW solar arrays and ten 30-kW Xe-ion engines; each of the solar arrays would be 12 x 61 m long. Each trip between the earth parking orbit and the moon would take about 1 year, so that a fleet of four ferries operating simultaneously could deliver 20 metric tons to a lunar base every 100 days.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
OSTI Identifier:
6285364
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Aerosp. Am.; (United States); Journal Volume: 25
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; SPACE VEHICLES; SOLAR ELECTRIC PROPULSION; MOON; PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS; SOLAR CELL ARRAYS; XENON; DIRECT ENERGY CONVERTERS; ELEMENTS; EQUIPMENT; FLUIDS; GASES; NONMETALS; PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS; PROPULSION; RARE GASES; SATELLITES; SOLAR EQUIPMENT; VEHICLES 420200* -- Engineering-- Facilities, Equipment, & Techniques

Citation Formats

Aston, G. Ferry to the moon. United States: N. p., 1987. Web.
Aston, G. Ferry to the moon. United States.
Aston, G. 1987. "Ferry to the moon". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6285364,
title = {Ferry to the moon},
author = {Aston, G.},
abstractNote = {Solar-electric propulsion for a fleet of lunar ferry vehicles may allow the creation of a permanent lunar base not long after the turn of the century with greater cost effectiveness than a fleet of chemically powered spacecraft. After delivery by the Space Shuttle to a 300-km earth orbit, the lunar ferry envisioned would travel in spiral trajectory to the moon under the power of 300-kW solar arrays and ten 30-kW Xe-ion engines; each of the solar arrays would be 12 x 61 m long. Each trip between the earth parking orbit and the moon would take about 1 year, so that a fleet of four ferries operating simultaneously could deliver 20 metric tons to a lunar base every 100 days.},
doi = {},
journal = {Aerosp. Am.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 25,
place = {United States},
year = 1987,
month = 6
}
  • Continuing the lunar orbit{close_quote}s 300-year role as gravity{close_quote}s testing ground, laser ranging to the Moon precisely confirms the foundations and structure of general relativity. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}
  • The chemical implications of a giant impact model for the origin of the moon are examined, both for the moon and for the earth. The Impactor is taken to be an approximately Mars-sized body. It is argued that the likeliest bulk chemical composition of the moon is quite similar to that of the earth's mantle, and that this composition may be explained in detail if about 80{percent} of the moon came from the primitive earth's mantle after segregation of the earth's core. The other 20{percent} of the moon is modelled as coming from (a) the Impactor, which is constrained tomore » be an oxidized, probably undifferentiated body of roughly CI chondritic composition (on a volatile free basis) and (b) a late stage veneer, with a composition and oxidation state similar to that of the H-group ordinary chondrites. This latter component is the source of all the volatile elements in the moon, which failed to condense from the earth-and Impactor-derived materials; this component constitutes about 4{percent} of the moon. It is argued that Mo may behave as a volatile element under the relatively oxidising conditions necessary for the condensation of the proto-moon. The model accounts satisfactorily for most of the siderophile elements, including Fe, Ni, Co, W, P, and Cu. The relatively well-constrained lunar abundances of V, Cr, and Mn are also accounted for; their depletion in the moon is inherited from the earth's mantle.« less
  • The abundances of V, Cr, and Mn inferred for the mantles of the Earth and Moon decrease in that order and are similar, but are distinct from those inferred for the mantles of the Eucrite Parent Body (EPB) and Shergottite Parent Body (SPB). This similarity between Earth and Moon has been used to suggest that the Moon is derived substantially or entirely from Earth mantle material following terrestrial core formation. To test this hypothesis, the authors have determined the partitioning of V, Cr, and Mn between solid iron metal, S-rich metallic liquid, and synthetic basaltic silicate liquid at 1,260{degree}C andmore » one bar pressure. The sequence of compatibility in the metallic phases is Cr > V > Mn at high oxygen fugacity and V > Cr > Mn at low oxygen fugacities. Solubilities in liquid metal always exceed solubilities in solid metal. These partition coefficients suggest that the abundances of V, Cr, and Mn do not reflect core formation in the Earth. Rather, they are consistent with the relative volatilities of these elements. The similarity in the depletion patterns of V, Cr, and Mn inferred for the mantles of the Earth and Moon is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the Moon to have been derived wholly or in part from the Earth's mantle.« less