Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology decided to find out which of the module options is most optimal for flights from orbit to the lunar surface and back.
In 2017, the US government launched the Artemis program, which aims to fly “the first woman and the next man” to the moon’s south pole by 2024.
The Artemis program plans to use the new lunar orbital platform-gateway Lunar Gateway as a permanent space station, from where reusable modules will deliver astronauts to the Moon.
In order to create an ideal design, the authors of the work analyzed 39 options for the future system.
As a result, they opted for a reusable, single-stage liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen module.
However, the use of reusable modules changes everything. Although one- and three-stage units still outperform two-stage units in weight, they allow for the reuse of most of their weight (approximately 70-100%, rather than 60% as in the case of two-stage modules), while providing savings in production and shipping costs. new vehicles to the orbital station, which leads to a reduction in the cost of the lunar program as a whole.Kir Latyshev, student of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology