Space Station Element Commonality between LEO and Lunar Infrastructures


M. Hempsell (2012), JBIS65, 402-409

Refcode: 2012.65.402
Keywords: Lunar Bases, Lunar orbit station, Geostationary orbit station, Skylon

Previous work has considered the use of common space station modules launched by the Skylon reusable launch system to construct a large in-orbit infrastructure composed of many small space stations. This previous work assumed this infrastruc- ture extended out to geostationary and lunar locations but without detailed consideration of the implications of operations beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This paper considers the implications of the extension of the approach to the geostationary and lunar environments. These environments impose both different requirements and constraints on the station modules. It is shown, through feasibility concept designs, that these new requirements can be easily incorporated in the core modules so that they can also be used both in LEO and in CIS-lunar space without any significant impact on their effectiveness, although all the requirements do need to be included at the start of the module development. It is also argued that the inclusion of lunar infrastructure requirements into the common modules completely scopes the additional requirements for operation in geostationary orbit. The concept is also extended to lunar surface bases and it is concluded while many new elements would be required some use of common modules is possible but may not be the optimum strategy.