Additional Addenda

Thanks to a very good idea from Brad in the comments (who fortunately had enough patience to put up with my bull-headedness long enough to talk a little sense into me), I think I’ve found a fix to the capsule size issue that should satisfy everyone. As brad points out, the cabin on the lunar lander doesn’t need anywhere near as much stuff as the return capsule itself needs. He suggested doing a lightweight cabin that was mostly just a pressure shell, and leave the crew capsule in orbit. I ran the numbers, available here, and found that if you assume a 1600lb cabin (split between 300lb for the astronauts themselves, 150 of life-support consumables, 300lb for spacesuits, 400lb for a rover, and 350lb for structures, electronics, solar panels, batteries, etc) on the lander, that it allows you to expand the 2-man capsule to 8400lb, which is almost where Gemini was in the 60s. With modern construction processes, it should be easy to get a bit more room and capability out of the design. In fact, it’s more weight than was speced for the GD Early Lunar Return capsule, which was based on an Apollo CM moldline….

So anyway, thanks to some good comments from Brad and others, I think the idea has been greatly approved. For those of you trying to give constructive criticism, keep it up. I may be bull-headed, but if you talk sense into me long enough, I’ll get it finally.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
Jonathan Goff

About Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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2 Responses to Additional Addenda

  1. Bill White says:

    Jon, you can also help solve crew capsulemass problems by sending the rover in advance.

    Pre-position your rover and add the ability for remote operation and your rover can deploy landing beacons and cameras to record the incoming crewed lander.

    Okay, so it adds an extra EELV launch to the plan, but you pay for the rover and the extra EELV launch by sending a BIG pressurized model and designing it to “look like” a Detroit SUV or pick-up truck — which company (Ford? or GM? or Dodge?) — whichever gives you the biggest marketing contract.

    A 4000 kg pressurized rover stuffed with goodies would be nice, right?

  2. David Stever says:

    300 pounds for two crewmen in this day and age might be a little rough. I think the average American might be over 200 pounds now, so figuring 500 pounds for two crewmen might be a better number to work with. Hope you can work with taller astros as well- I’m 6’3″, and I’d like to fly.

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