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Conceptual design of a lunar shuttle transport vehicle

by 1971- Finney, Matthew David

Abstract (Summary)
In 1961 the former Soviet Union successfully launched the first human into space marking the beginning of the “Space Race” with the United States. Forty years later, the United States and Russia are working together in support of the International Space Station (ISS). The US Space Shuttle fleet and Russian Soyuz capsule and rockets are being used to replenish the ISS. In light of the latest shuttle accident and aging systems, NASA has been pursing alternatives to replace the shuttle fleet. This study is a conceptual design of a spacecraft designed to meet the following requirements: 1. Transport a crew of eight from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to and from the International Space Station recovering at the Edwards Air Force Base complex in southern California, 2. Transport a crew of eight from the Kennedy Space Center to a future lunar base, and 3. Refuel at the future lunar base using propellant sources mined from moon, launch and return to earth. The spacecraft system, Lunar Shuttle Transport (LST), was designed by tailoring the aircraft design methods presented in Raymer’s, “Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach” (1999) to spacecraft design. A design method outline was developed to establish a roadmap for the vehicle design. This study found that the desired configuration for the vehicle would be very similar in shape to the proposed lifting body designs of NASA’s Assured Crew Return Vehicle and Orbital Space Plane. Unlike NASA’s cancelled X-33 demonstration program, the LST system would not be a single stage to orbit design but rather would launch using a rocket system with multiple stages. The Lunar Shuttle Transport (LST) iii would use aerodynamic braking to decelerate during reentry into earth’s atmosphere and would rely on a parachute system and rocket engines for the final landing on skids. For the lunar mission, the LST would use an additional stage for the translunar orbit insertion. The LST would rely on its main engines both for insertion into the low lunar orbit and the eventual landing on the moon. The launch from the moon would require that the LST be refueled by a source on the moon. The lunar launch and return trip to earth would be accomplished using the LST main engines. iv
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Advisor:

School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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