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The missing step to building a lunar spaceport

Labriet, Marc and Poulet, Lucie (2014) The missing step to building a lunar spaceport. AIAA Space 2013, San Diego, USA.

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Abstract

There is a broad agreement that the cost of launching sufficient mass for long-duration missions towards deep space destinations is prohibitive. One of the most obvious solutions is to use in-space fuel depots containing in situ derived propellants. With 600 million tons of water ice estimated at its north pole and a resource rich regolith, the moon is the most promising and accessible location for in situ production of propellants. However building a lunar base with a regolith processing plant would cost billions of dollars and would face strong political challenges. The Operations and Service Infrastructure for Space (OASIS) team, proposes an innovative solution to the initial financial risks by developing a spaceport network architecture step by step and investing the commercial profits of each iteration into the next node. The initial nodes of the network consist of spaceports in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and on the Moon. The most profitable market of the space industry is the commercial communication satellite market. The first spaceport node is to be established in LEO, addressing the mature LEO – GEO (Geostationary orbit) market with ‘tugging’ services for commercial satellites and in-orbit refueling for exploration missions. The ‘tug’ service would allow customers to place heavier spacecrafts in GEO for cheaper by always sending the maximum mass and use smaller launch vehicles to enter the GEO market. This service is the initial source of business in order to make the overall network economically viable in the long run. This second spaceport node on the Moon will produce inexpensive propellant from in situ resources and will make it accessible in LEO revolutionizing space transportation costs and ensuring a strong business case for the network. The solution incorporates a discussion of the complete Node 1 architecture with an emphasis placed on the business case, as well as the concepts of operations of the spaceport and tug servicer.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/86547/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:The missing step to building a lunar spaceport
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Labriet, MarcISUUNSPECIFIED
Poulet, Lucielucie.poulet (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:28 January 2014
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:LEO, satellite servicing, spaceports network
Event Title:AIAA Space 2013
Event Location:San Diego, USA
Event Type:international Conference
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W - no assignment
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - no assignment (old)
Location: other
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > System Analysis Space Segment
Deposited By: Poulet, Lucie Beatrice
Deposited On:28 Jan 2014 11:54
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:43

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