The University of Southern California has course ASTE 527. It takes an architectural approach to complex engineering concepts generation. It is a graduate elective course offered by the Department of Astronautical Engineering (ASTE).
Madhu Thangavelu conducts the ASTE 527 graduate Space Studio Architecting course in the Department of Astronautical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Madhu’s masters thesis (1988 at MIT) entitled “MALEO: Modular Assembly in Low Earth Orbit. An Alternate Strategy for Lunar Base Establishment” was published in several journals worldwide.
The goal for the finals projects was ADAM – Advanced Development Architectures for the Moon. The students were trying to determine how to return a manned mission to the moon by 2022.
The best option for such a goal is probably some version of the Robert Zubrin Moon Direct project.
APPLES: Architecture for PrePositioning Lunar Expedition Supplies
* Critical mission supplies spread over multiple launches, Smaller launch vehicles = lower cost
* Supplies available in key locations in case of unexpected need
* Caches can be continuously resupplied, allowing for longer missions, Can take advantage of unused payload capability on other missions
Buzz Aldrin was at the 527 ASTE finals presentations.
Buzz talked about some of his ideas for returning to the moon. Buzz talked about what was previously called the Mars Cycler and the Lunar Cycler. He preferred to call the lunar version a “Lunar Cruiser”.
A Lunar Cruiser periodically passes close by the Earth and the Moon, using gravity assists and occasional propellant-powered corrections to maintain its trajectories between the two. If the fuel required to reach a particular cycler orbit from both the Earth and the Moon is modest, and the travel time between the two along the cycler is reasonable, then having a spacecraft in the cycler can provide an efficient and regular method for space transportation.
Buzz talked about using Lunar Cruisers and space tugs. He called his version of a space tug a Buzzcraft.