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Commercial Advantages of a Large SLS Deployed Reusable Extraterrestrial Crew Landing Vehicle

7 Oct 2020, 01:45 UTC
Commercial Advantages of  a Large SLS Deployed Reusable Extraterrestrial Crew Landing Vehicle
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Notional SLS deployed RLV-4 Crew lunar landing vehicle with a crew davit deployment system. by Marcel F. Williams Before the end of the decade, the deployment of orbital propellant depots to LEO and NRHO (Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit) will probably make the SLS/Orion vehicle-- obsolete-- as part of an affordable and efficient crew transport architecture to the lunar surface. So the-- crewed-- SLS/Orion configuration could be haulted just a few years after it started. However, the four major partners in SLS manufacturing and operations (Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Lockheed Martin) could take full economic advantage of the coming propellant depot architecture by using the Space Launch System to deploy large-- reusable-- lunar landing vehicles into orbit to transport crews or heavy cargo to the lunar surface. I'll call such a notional extraterrestrial landing vehicle, in this article, the RLV-4 (Reusable Landing Vehicle Four). And I seriously believe that if Boeing and their SLS partners finance and build a RLV-4 type of vehicle for both crew and heavy cargo transport to the lunar surface, their partnership could easily end up economically dominating cis-lunar space and probably the rest of the solar system for the next 25 to 30 years-- ...

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