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Mission and Implementation of an Affordable Lunar ReturnWe present an architecture that establishes the infrastructure for routine space travel by taking advantage of the Moon's resources, proximity and accessibility. We use robotic assets on the Moon that are teleoperated from Earth to prospect, test, demonstrate and produce water from lunar resources before human arrival. This plan is affordable, flexible and not tied to any specific launch vehicle solution. Individual surface pieces are small, permitting them to be deployed separately on small launchers or combined together on single large launchers. Schedule is our free variable; even under highly constrained budgets, the architecture permits this program to be continuously pursued using small, incremental, cumulative steps. The end stage is a fully functional, human-tended lunar outpost capable of producing 150 metric tonnes of water per year enough to export water from the Moon and create a transportation system that allows routine access to all of cislunar space. This cost-effective lunar architecture advances technology and builds a sustainable transportation infrastructure. By eliminating the need to launch everything from the surface of the Earth, we fundamentally change the paradigm of spaceflight.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Spudis, Paul
(Lunar and Planetary Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Lavoie, Anthony
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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