3386. Design of a Lunar Lander for Concept Exploration and Refinement


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Leo Bocam: 3386. Design of a Lunar Lander for Concept Exploration and Refinement. 2006.



Orbital Sciences Corporation developed reference missions, system requirements, and exploration architecture concepts in support of the United States Vision for Space Exploration. These efforts were performed as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Concept Exploration and Refinement (CE&R) study, which examined initial missions to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), initial and sustaining missions to the Moon, and initial and sustaining missions to Mars. As in all aerospace development efforts, safety, cost, and schedule were the driving factors. Orbital focused first on developing a sustainable and affordable LEO and lunar transportation architecture. The first steps for executing a lunar mission include placing the astronauts into LEO, transporting them to Low Lunar Orbit (LLO), and eventually to the lunar surface with extended mission duration capability. The key element of the lunar transportation architecture is the lunar lander, which provides transportation to and from the lunar surface. Lunar lander configurations assessed included single stage, two stage, reusable, and expendable, which were all examined with different propellant combinations. Orbital received Level 1 requirements from NASA and decomposed them into requirements specific to the lunar lander based on architectural level trade studies performed during the contract. The iterative process between design and systems engineering ultimately allowed Orbital to recommend a lunar lander design to NASA. Orbital?s solution was optimized into a single stage reusable Human Lunar Lander (HLL) with full abort coverage to and from the lunar surface. In addition, a cargo variant known as the Cargo Lunar Lander (CLL) was developed with an emphasis on maximizing commonality and reducing cost. The resulting design was optimized using mass properties estimation and performance analysis. The recommended HLL possesses excellent performance capability and safety characteristics, such as abort capability. This paper discusses the assumptions and design considerations Orbital used to develop the HLL design concept, as well as the critical crew safety features of the configuration.


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