skip to main content

Title: Ferry to the moon

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:
OSTI Identifier:
6285364
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Aerosp. Am.; (United States); Journal Volume: 25
Research Org:
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
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