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October 31, 2010

Space Manufacturing conference - space transportation

Transterrestrial Musings and Parabolic Arc has coverage as does Hobbyspace.

- Biggest problem is market demand
- Near term markets - ISS resupply, propellant depots, debris cleanup, tourism can help create markets…
– long-term solution: space settlement
– Changes required:

* no major technical breakthroughs necessary;
* breakthroughs that reduce risk and cost;
* end to space being a jobs program, respect for the private sector;
* sensible engineering and science-based legal regulation;
* financial risk is global economic collapse…”very serious deep structural problem I’m not sure how to fix”. Will the dollar be worth anything in three months?
* availability of risk capital and investor patience (a role for NASA);

Technical needs:

* active cooling
* high reactive engines
* reusable launch systems

Achievable Goal

* RLVs could reduce cost to $500 per pound (within 5 years), $100/lb within ten to fifteen.




Dallas Bienhoff, The Boeing Company
“Top 10 Technologies for Reusable Cislunar Transportation”

Aerocapture transport system that moves between LEO and L1 – another system that goes between L1 and near the moon — another system to take it back and forth to the moon…
– Takes twice as long to get to the moon — 6 days instead of 3 days for Apollo…
– Twenty five tons of cargo
– Put in place to use lunar propellant

Top 10 Technologies Required

10. variable mixture oxygen/hydrogen space rocket engine
9. low-g and zero-g O2/H2 liquefication
8. low-g water electrolysis
7. deep space autonomous rendezvous and docking (AR&D)
6. Aerocapture (slow down in LEO using atmosphere in order to save propellant)
5. life-life reusable O2/H2 space rocket engine — engines that can operate for years on orbit
4. Aero-assisted entry, descent and landing (AEDL)
3. Long-term zero-G cryogenic storage
2. Zero-g cryogenic fluid transfer
1. Zero-g cryogenic fluid management

Proposed NASA Budget

– pushes a lot of the technology developments into late 2020s…

Schedule

– Need to put up an element per year to get this done in a reasonable amount of time
– About a billion dollars over three years for the tech development in NASA authorization

* refueling and storage
* propellant depots, insitu resource utilization

Joe Carroll, Tether Applications
“Tether Sling Concepts for LEO and Beyond”

– most of the work with tethers will be done in low Earth orbit….nothing ambitious things will happen in lunar orbit until it happens in LEO…

– Four “wild cards’ for ETO Transport:

* mid-air capture of multi-ton payloads — recover rocket stages
* collecting and recycling aluminum alloys in space
* high delta V slings in LEO to throw payloads
* artificial gravity research facility

Mid-air Capture

– if you can capture first stage for reuse, then large rockets (which can’t be recaptured) may not make much sense…
– most important thing for future of rockets could be parachutes and helicopters…

Collecting and Recycling Aluminum

– 2,100 tons of debris in LEO – 1,000+ tons is aluminum allows
– recycling “barely extraterrestrial” alloys

Electrodynamic Propulsion

– can be used for LEO debris removal or collection — can drag it down to lower orbit
– Russian policy is that debris in orbit should be reused — they own 72 percent of the mass of orbital debris
– could collect debris with electrodynamic tether…accumulate them in higher orbit and then recycling them…
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