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Simplified Extraterrestrial Cargo and Crew Landing Vehicles for the SLS

31 Jul 2018, 06:29 UTC
Simplified Extraterrestrial Cargo and Crew Landing Vehicles for the SLS
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Notional crewed ELV-3 on the surface of the Moon by Marcel F. WilliamsDuring NASA's Constellation program, the American space agency chose Boeing's Altair concept as the landing vehicle design to return American astronauts to the surface of the Moon. As a two staged (descent and ascent) crew landing vehicle and as a single stage cargo landing vehicle, the Altair was supposed to be housed in the large payload fairing of the Ares V super heavy lift rocket. But in 2010, the Constellation program was canceled by the Obama administration, a decision that became law in April of 2011. And this ended the development of Ares V and Altair lunar landing vehicle. Notional Altair crew landing vehicle (Credit: NASA)Notional Altair cargo landing vehicle (Credit: NASA)A year later, Congress began funding a new heavy lift program, the Space Launch System (SLS), while continuing to fund the development of the Orion component of the Constellation program. While there has been no significant Congressional funding for a lunar landing vehicle, a large variety of a vehicle concepts have been proposed to return American astronauts and cargo back to the lunar surface by several space companies. 2.4 meter super lightweight cryotank (Credit: Boeing Aerospace)Here, I ...

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