Moon Shot - The Next Step

First private sector mission concepts, potential revenue streams, what various companies and organizations are doing along these lines, <b>closely</b> related topics

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joertexas
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Pics Posted

Post by joertexas » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:40 am

Okay, I've posted pictures of the lunar lander and orbiter stack, and a parts layout of the lunar backhoe in my photo albums page on this forum.

JR

John Hunt
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Post by John Hunt » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:21 am

The rock crawlers are featured on YouTube
When I watch the rock crawlers, they are always crawling on rocks. How confident are we that they will do well on fine regolith? Might a tracked vehicle be better?

John Hunt
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Post by John Hunt » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:43 pm

Somewhere I saw a proposed lunar lander which, after it landed, would rotate it's body (relative to the planted legs). The result of the rotation would be that the landing rockets would be pointed up and the payload (e.g. rover) would be underneath the body to be easily lowered by cables.

Second, I am thinking that it would be well to have a common lunar lander undercarriage. Rather than landers being designed for one specific task, have the lander undercarriage be the same mission-to-mission regardless of what is being unloaded.

This is probably more important for follow-on missions than just a one-off prospecting mission. But consider that there might be follow-on prospecting missions to characterize the best ice to be found including in other craters.

For ongoing mining operations, I think it best to use a common undercarriage that is used again and again to deliver different types of payloads (e.g. solar panels, ISRU, robonauts, etc) so that eventually we are so confident in their safety that we could imagine placing a volunteer expeditionary astronaut on that common undercarriage.

Also, please consider whether a shell is needed or not. Flying through "empty" space is quite safe. Micrometeorites are quite rare. The risk is that pebbles kicked up from landing/ascending exhaust might ricochet back. But this can be monitored to see if it is a real problem. Also, landing sites can be prepared to minimize this risk before astronauts are sent.

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joertexas
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Post by joertexas » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:49 pm

[quote=""JohnHunt""]When I watch the rock crawlers, they are always crawling on rocks. How confident are we that they will do well on fine regolith? Might a tracked vehicle be better?[/quote]

I'm confident enough to buy one and try it on sand to see how it does :)

We will have to develop metal wheels that will work in soft sand. As the Apollo mission proved, though, the loose regolith isn't that deep.

JR

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joertexas
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Post by joertexas » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:03 pm

Somewhere I saw a proposed lunar lander which, after it landed, would rotate it's body (relative to the planted legs). The result of the rotation would be that the landing rockets would be pointed up and the payload (e.g. rover) would be underneath the body to be easily lowered by cables.

I pickd this design because it keeps the rocket nozzles high to reduce the amount of dust that is blown around. The cargo box is slung underneath, which eliminates any mechanisms to deliver the rovers to the surface, other than simple fall down to open doors.

Second, I am thinking that it would be well to have a common lunar lander undercarriage. Rather than landers being designed for one specific task, have the lander undercarriage be the same mission-to-mission regardless of what is being unloaded.

This is probably more important for follow-on missions than just a one-off prospecting mission. But consider that there might be follow-on prospecting missions to characterize the best ice to be found including in other craters.

For ongoing mining operations, I think it best to use a common undercarriage that is used again and again to deliver different types of payloads (e.g. solar panels, ISRU, robonauts, etc) so that eventually we are so confident in their safety that we could imagine placing a volunteer expeditionary astronaut on that common undercarriage.

This mission is flying on a small launcher, the Falcon 9. Any follow-on missions will probably have a much higher cargo capacity, so everything will have to be scaled up. The cargo box pixtured is only 3m x 2.5m x 1.5m, so that's only suitable for small missions.

Also, please consider whether a shell is needed or not. Flying through "empty" space is quite safe. Micrometeorites are quite rare. The risk is that pebbles kicked up from landing/ascending exhaust might ricochet back. But this can be monitored to see if it is a real problem. Also, landing sites can be prepared to minimize this risk before astronauts are sent.

The major issue in space for equipment is thermal control. The Indian lunar orbiter actually overheated and failed after several months of operation. Of particular concern is the batteries - their operating temperature range is rather narrow, and they will require careful monitoring.

The cargo box also serves to protect the rovers during landing. In fact, we're toying with the idea of attaching the cargo box with pyrotechnic bolts so it can be jettisoned in certain situations to allow the rovers to survive a bad landing. It has a crush pad at the bottom, and it may also have outriggers to help keep it upright.

JR
Last edited by joertexas on Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed cargo box dimensions

asteroid-wildcat
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Interorbital Systems is pre-selling lunar material

Post by asteroid-wildcat » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:52 pm

Interorbital systems hooked up with Lutz Kayser formally of OTRAG (Interesting story regarding the challenges faced by an early commercial space company). Lutz and Wernher von Braun were close colleagues and Kutz knows his stuff.

Take a look at what Interorbital is planning regarding a sample return mission to the moon. They are even pre-selling lunar materal.

http://www.interorbital.com/Lunar%20Sam ... turn_1.htm

I'm also going to post this in the news section.

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joertexas
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Post by joertexas » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:52 pm

This company seems to be a good prospect for the parts and such we will need:

http://www.honeybeerobotics.com/index.php

JR

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moonus111
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Post by moonus111 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:50 am

[quote=""joertexas""]What would you need from the design team to make the promotional website? I have some basic 3-D renderings of the lander, the orbiter, and a parts breakdown of the backhoe. The solar panels trailer is still pending basic design layout.

If Rares is available, he does excellent work, and I'm sure he could make something good from my drawings.

The rock crawlers are featured on YouTube, and I plan to use a 1/10 scale version for the scouts, and a 1/5 version for the comms rover.

JR[/quote]

This all helps, but first things first

1.) Name
2.) url

If anyone has suggestions I'm open on both, I'd love to build a subdomain under permanent, but I think access might be a bit of an issue with the big man.

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joertexas
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Post by joertexas » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:42 am

[quote=""moonus111""]This all helps, but first things first

1.) Name
2.) url

If anyone has suggestions I'm open on both, I'd love to build a subdomain under permanent, but I think access might be a bit of an issue with the big man.[/quote]

Operation Polar Ice?

JR

Sam Fraser
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Post by Sam Fraser » Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:28 pm

For lack of imagination, here are a few:

Ice Breaker
Ice Trekker
Ice Scout
Ice Skater
Ice Oasis
Ice Surveyor

Animal names related to the poles that could be used:

Penguins
Polar bear/cubs
Seals
Huskies

Also maybe names of famous polar explorers. (Sorry, that's all I got.)

[quote=""moonus111""]This all helps, but first things first

1.) Name
2.) url

If anyone has suggestions I'm open on both, I'd love to build a subdomain under permanent, but I think access might be a bit of an issue with the big man.[/quote]

I'll talk to Mark about a PERMANENT subdomain. :)
Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand..... I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
Take me out, to the black, tell em I ain't coming back..... Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

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