Extended Duration Lunar Lander - Abstract
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Extended Duration Lunar Lander

Nikola Babic, et. all

May 15, 1993

Executive Summary

Selenium Technologies has been conducting preliminary design work on a manned lunar lander for use in NASA's First Lunar Outpost (FLO) program. The resulting lander is designed to carry a crew of four astronauts to a prepositioned habitat on the lunar surface, remain on the lunar surface for up to 45 days while the crew is living in the habitat, then return the crew to Earth via direct reentry and land recovery. Should the need arise, the crew can manually guide the lander to a safe lunar landing site, and live in the lander for up to ten days on the surface. Also, an abort to Earth is available during any segment of the mission.

The main propulsion system consists of a cluster of four modified Pratt and Whitney RL10 rocket engines that use liquid methane (LCH4) and liquid oxygen (LOX). Four engines are used to provide redundancy and a satisfactory engine out capability. Differences between the new propulsion system and the original system include slightly smaller engine size and lower thrust per engine, although specific impulse remains the same despite the smaller size. Concerns over nozzle ground clearance and engine reliability, as well as more information from Pratt and Whitney, brought about this change.

The power system consists of a combination of regenerative fuel cells and solar arrays. While the lander is in flight to or from the Moon, or during the lunar night, fuel cells provide all electrical power. During the lunar day, solar arrays are deployed to provide electrical power for the lander as well as electrolyzers, which separate some water back into hydrogen and oxygen for later use by the fuel cells. Total storage requirements for oxygen, hydrogen, and water are 61 kg, 551 kg, and 360 kg, respectively.

The lander is a stage-and-a-half design with descent propellant, cargo, and landing gear contained in the descent stage, and the main propulsion system, ascent propellant, and crew module contained in the ascent stage. The primary structure for both stages is a truss, to which all tanks and components are attached. The crew module is a conical shape similar to that of the Apollo Command Module, but significantly larger with a height and maximum diameter of 6 m.