How can EELV’s support launch of demanding missions?
–Such as deployment of an Earth-Moon Lagrange point habitat
If a heavy-lift launch vehicle is available this decade, an expandable 30.5 ton habitat and departure-stage propulsion system may be launched to E-M L1,2 in a single launch and will offer 575 cubic meter (roughly half the habitable volume of ISS)
If existing (or near-future) EELVs are the available launch vehicles this decade, a 16 ton, 170 cubic meter design that uses a pair of launches of Delta IV H and LEO rendezvous/fuel transfer to reach E-M L1,2.
Enabling capabilities for the dual-EELV option to include
• On-orbit re-fueling (i.e., Earth departure stage in LEO)
• Improved designs, structures, and materials for expandable facilities
• Improved long-duration systems/sub-systems developed as a testbed in coordination with ISS
• Improved EVA and robotic systems: suits, environment control, airlock, tools, etc.
• Enhanced telepresence systems to enable remote operation of lunar surface robots.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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