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Substantially Enhancing the Capability of the SLS Architecture by Utilizing EUS Derived Propellant Depots and Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicles

11 Jul 2016, 21:41 UTC
Substantially Enhancing the Capability of the  SLS Architecture by Utilizing EUS Derived Propellant Depots and Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicles
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Left: Orion space capsule with hypergolic fueled Service Module; right: notional Orion spacecraft with a reusable EUS derived orbital transfer vehicle. It now appears that Congress will direct NASA to return Americans to the surface of the Moon in order to prepare for future crewed journeys to the surface of Mars. But the Moon could prove to be much more than just a beyond LEO testing ground for astronauts and components.At minimum, an interplanetary round trip to the Red Planet would require several hundred tons of water for drinking, washing, food preparation, radiation shielding, the production of air, and for the production of liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid (LH2) for rocket propellant.Supplying the water needed for an interplanetary spacecraft parked at LEO would require a delta-v ranging from 9.3 km/s to 10 km/s from the Earth's surface. Minimum energy launch windows during the 2030s would require an additional delta-v ranging from 3.59 km/s to 4.81 km/s for Trans Mars Injections (TMI) that could send humans to Mars in less than a year.But at different locations within cis-lunar space, substantially lower levels of delta-v could be taken advantage of in order to launch cargo and crew into a Trans Mars Injection. ...

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