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Enabling Exploration Missions Now: Applications of On-orbit StagingFuture NASA Exploration goals are difficult to meet using current launch vehicle implementations and techniques. We introduce a concept of On-Orbit Staging (OOS) using multiple launches into a Low Earth orbit (LEO) staging area to increase payload mass and reduce overall cost for exploration initiative missions. This concept is a forward-looking implementation of ideas put forth by Oberth and Von Braun to address the total mission design. Applying staging throughout the mission and utilizing technological advances in propulsion efficiency and architecture enable us to show that exploration goals can be met in the next decade. As part of this architecture, we assume the readiness of automated rendezvous, docking, and assembly technology.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Folta, David C.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Vaughn, Frank
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Westmeyer, Paul
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Rawitscher, Gary
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Bordi, Francesco
(Aerospace Corp. Arlington, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Meeting Information
AIAA/AAS Conference(Lake Tahoe, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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