Category Archives: Propellant Depots

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 , , , , , , | 4 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

AAS Paper Review: RAAN Agnostic 3-Burn Departure Methodology for Deep Space Missions from LEO Depots (Part 1 of 2)

About a year ago, I wrote a review of an AAS conference paper that I coauthored with a few of my astrogator friends, Mike Loucks and John Carrico regarding an mission design tool for enabling the use of LEO depots … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation | 9 Comments

AAS Paper Review: Practical Methodologies For Low Delta-V Penalty, On-Time Departures To Arbitrary Interplanetary Destinations From A Medium-Inclination Low-Earth Orbit Depot

I’d like to share a technical paper about propellant depots and interplanetary mission orbital dynamics that I helped co-author this past year, with the help of two of my astrogator friends, Mike Loucks and John Carrico of Space Exploration Engineering … Continue reading

Posted in Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, ULA | 12 Comments

Random Thoughts: First Pass Analysis of a White Dragon/Xeus Lunar Sortie Mission

After yesterday’s SpaceX announcement of having booked two customers for a Apollo-8 style mission around the Moon and back, using Falcon Heavy and Dragon V2, I got thinking about ways to take the next step in lunar tourism–surface missions. Now, … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Random Thoughts, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, YHABFT | 51 Comments