Home » Health » The spacecraft can transport astronauts and supplies to and from the Moon on a regular basis

The spacecraft can transport astronauts and supplies to and from the Moon on a regular basis

Several space agencies plan to send astronauts, cosmonauts and cosmonauts to the Moon in the coming years, with the long-term goal of establishing a permanent human presence there. This includes NASA Artemis program, which aims to establish a “sustainable lunar exploration and development program” by the end of the decade. There is also a Chinese competitor Russo International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) to create a series of facilities “on the surface and/or in lunar orbit” that will enable profitable research.

In addition to programs run by government agencies, there are many companies and non-governmental organizations that hope to make regular trips to the moon, either for “lunar tourism” and mining, or for construction.International Moon VillageHe will serve as a spiritual successor to International space station (ISS). This plan will require moving a great deal of cargo and goods between the Earth and the Moon over the next decade, which is no easy task. To address this, a US/UK research team was recently published research paper On the optimal trajectory for travel between the Earth and the Moon.

The team consists of Professor Emeritus Thomas Carter from Eastern Connecticut State University and Professor of Mathematical Sciences Mayer is uncomfortable from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. For studies, there prepress Available online, Carter and Homey research how the craft could transport supplies to a lunar outpost and bring mining resources from the surface. Based on their calculations, they concluded that a trajectory that would put the shuttle into an elliptical orbit and reduce thrust requirements would be best.

NASA created this chart in 1967 to show the flight paths and key mission events of the upcoming Apollo missions to the Moon. Credit: NASA

During the space race, NASA and the Soviet space program relied on free return trajectories to send missions to the moon. This was done by using the moon’s gravity to perform a figure-eight maneuver that caused the spacecraft to return home with minimal orbital modification (reducing the amount of fuel needed). The orbit of the Artemis mission will be similar to its predecessor Apollo missions in that it will also perform a figure-eight flight that ends with a projection into the ocean.

In other words, this mission will be a one-way trip. But beyond returning astronauts to the Moon, assembling the Moon Gate, and setting up Artemis Basecamp on the surface, the long-term goal is to use Artemis’ infrastructure to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon. There was also a need to keep costs down, which made launching heavy loads from the surface of the moon efficient. As co-author Professor Homey explained to Universe Today via email, the proposals envision a spacecraft orbiting the Earth and Moon:

“the one [the ISS’] Its “function” is to avoid sending large payloads into low Earth orbit. Instead, we sent a “capsule” with supplies and replacements to the astronauts. accomplished [lunar settlements] At the lowest cost, we need something similar to the International Space Station but orbiting the Earth and Moon. This craft will never land on Earth or the Moon. Capsules from Earth will stick to it when they are close to Earth, similarly capsules from the Moon will stick to it when they are close to the Moon. This would avoid the need to lift large payloads from Earth or the Moon, and this would save a lot of money and resources.

nonetheless, the shuttle needs an engine and propellant to keep the shuttle in orbit due to gravitational disturbances (from the Earth, Moon and Sun). While the craft does not require the large thrusters and fuel tanks needed to escape Earth’s gravity, the engines and fuel add a large amount of mass to a mission, causing a cost increase. To overcome this, Homey and Carter considered maneuvers that would reduce fuel consumption while allowing the spacecraft to orbit the Earth-Moon system in a reasonable amount of time.

“The process we used to get our results was to develop an appropriate mathematical model based on the gravitational forces of the Earth and Moon (and Sun) affecting the orbit of the space shuttle,” said Homey. With this in mind, they decided that a circular, elliptical orbit with near-Earth perihelion and apogee on the Moon would be the best path. Only minimal thrust is required for course correction, eliminating the out-of-plane effects of solar gravity, which can be further reduced by ensuring that the eccentricity of the orbit remains close to zero.

These types of craft and trajectory, Homey says, are necessary for any plan to form a permanent person
on the Moon, but it could also lead to a growing Earth-Moon economy:

Currently, there are plans to establish a permanent “outpost” on the surface of the Moon. These outposts need supplies from Earth to function properly (food, medical computers, robotic parts, etc.) and mechanisms to replace astronauts). At the same time, it will return to Earth those elements that are so lacking on Earth (for example, helium-3) and which, according to all theoretical calculations, are fuel for fusion reactors.

not signature US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act in 2015 and US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act By 2020, the US government has made it clear that commercial activities on the moon will include resource extraction. In addition to securing mineral resources (such as rare earth metals essential for electronics and digital devices), scientists envisioned a day when a lunar source of helium-3 would be useful because it would allow the widespread use of fusion. reactors to meet our energy needs. Homey and Carter included a caveat in their study, saying their findings would require further testing and validation. As noted in conclusion:

“It should be possible to design a control system that will return the spacecraft to a defined orbit to compensate for disturbances that were not accounted for in the analysis. It is safe to say that one can guess that the circular orbit of the shuttle gives the orbit better in terms of thrust. But this orbit has a path of maximum length. Therefore, the results obtained in this paper although they may be ‘intuitively clear’ are not necessarily clear”.

Further reading: arXiv

Leave a Comment