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Title: NTR-Enhanced Lunar-Base Supply using Existing Launch Fleet Capabilities

Abstract

During the summer of 2006, students at the Center for Space Nuclear Research sought to augment the current NASA lunar exploration architecture with a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR). An additional study investigated the possible use of an NTR with existing launch vehicles to provide 21 metric tons of supplies to the lunar surface in support of a lunar outpost. Current cost estimates show that the complete mission cost for an NTR-enhanced assembly of Delta-IV and Atlas V vehicles may cost 47-86% more than the estimated Ares V launch cost of $1.5B; however, development costs for the current NASA architecture have not been assessed. The additional cost of coordinating the rendezvous of four to six launch vehicles with an in-orbit assembly facility also needs more thorough analysis and review. Future trends in launch vehicle use will also significantly impact the results from this comparison. The utility of multiple launch vehicles allows for the development of a more robust and lower risk exploration architecture.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
OTHER
OSTI Identifier:
961921
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-08-15139
TRN: US0903510
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Annual Meet,Atlanta, Georgia,06/14/2009,06/18/2009
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; ARCHITECTURE; AVAILABILITY; EXPLORATION; METRICS; NASA; ROCKETS; In-Orbit Assembly; Lunar Outpost; Nuclear Thermal Propulsion; Nuclear Thermal Rocket; Tungsten-Cermet

Citation Formats

John D. Bess, Emily Colvin, and Paul G. Cummings. NTR-Enhanced Lunar-Base Supply using Existing Launch Fleet Capabilities. United States: N. p., 2009. Web.
John D. Bess, Emily Colvin, & Paul G. Cummings. NTR-Enhanced Lunar-Base Supply using Existing Launch Fleet Capabilities. United States.
John D. Bess, Emily Colvin, and Paul G. Cummings. Mon . "NTR-Enhanced Lunar-Base Supply using Existing Launch Fleet Capabilities". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/961921.
@article{osti_961921,
title = {NTR-Enhanced Lunar-Base Supply using Existing Launch Fleet Capabilities},
author = {John D. Bess and Emily Colvin and Paul G. Cummings},
abstractNote = {During the summer of 2006, students at the Center for Space Nuclear Research sought to augment the current NASA lunar exploration architecture with a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR). An additional study investigated the possible use of an NTR with existing launch vehicles to provide 21 metric tons of supplies to the lunar surface in support of a lunar outpost. Current cost estimates show that the complete mission cost for an NTR-enhanced assembly of Delta-IV and Atlas V vehicles may cost 47-86% more than the estimated Ares V launch cost of $1.5B; however, development costs for the current NASA architecture have not been assessed. The additional cost of coordinating the rendezvous of four to six launch vehicles with an in-orbit assembly facility also needs more thorough analysis and review. Future trends in launch vehicle use will also significantly impact the results from this comparison. The utility of multiple launch vehicles allows for the development of a more robust and lower risk exploration architecture.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {6}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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