Category Archives: Propellant Depots

Unorthodox Reusable Lunar Landers Concepts

[Author’s Note: Back in summer of 2019, shortly after Mike Pence announced the goal of having NASA return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in over half a century, I had the idea of doing a blog … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Reusable Lunar Landers | 5 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part VI: Roving Depots

In the last post in this series, I discussed the idea of large-scale depots for human spaceflight applications, which operate in fixed, low-orbits. While the final post in this series will investigate human spaceflight depots that operate in fixed higher … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NASA, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, ULA, Venus | 8 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part V: Human Spaceflight Fixed Depots (Low-Orbit)

For this next depot taxonomy post, we’ll finally be talking about what people usually think about when they hear the term orbital propellant depot — larger, cryogenic refueling facilities, focused on enabling large-scale human spaceflight missions, performed by a diverse … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Origin, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, RLV Markets, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part IV: Smallsat Launcher Refueling Depots

After a brief hiatus, I’d like to continue this series with the type of depot I’ve spent the most time thinking about over the last several years, and the first type of depot that really fits the mold of what … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part III: GEO Depots

Of the six depot types I’ll be describing in this series, GEO Depots are probably the least fully-baked of the concepts for me, mostly because I’ve only had limited involvement in the traditional GEO satellite world. But I wanted to … Continue reading

Posted in Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Satellite Servicing, Space Transportation | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part II: Distributed LEO Nano-Depots

For this first type of propellant depot, we have an idea that several of us seem to have independently realized. My company is developing a family of servicing tugs focused on servicing customers in Low Earth Orbit. We realized pretty … Continue reading

Posted in Altius Space Machines, Commercial Space, Propellant Depots, Satellite Servicing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy

After way too many years in the wilderness, the concept of orbital propellant depots and in-space refueling in general, are finally beginning to be taken seriously again in public circles. A couple of examples include: Elon’s announcement that he is … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NASA, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, Venus | Leave a comment

On Avoiding Some of the Mistakes of Apollo

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. With a blog named Selenian Boondocks, I figured it probably made sense for me to say something. Earlier this year, thanks to some good advice from several friends, I … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, COTS, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Policy, Space Settlement | 21 Comments

FISO Telecon Lecture on LEO Propellant Depots for Interplanetary Smallsat Launch

Today I gave a lecture on the Future In-Space Operations Telecon Series on the idea of using LEO propellant depots for interplanetary smallsat missions. Here’s a link to the archive page, which has both the presentation itself and an .mp3 … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, Lunar Commerce, Mars, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA | 6 Comments

AAS Paper Review: RAAN Agnostic 3-Burn Departure Methodology for Deep Space Missions from LEO Depots (Part 2 of 2)

Ok, picking up where the first part left off, we’ve reviewed the background, methodology, and some general observations on the methodology from our RAAN-agnostic 3-burn departure paper. In this part, I want to go over an interplanetary launch campaign concept … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, International Space Collaboration, International Space Competition, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, Technology, ULA, Venus | 5 Comments