Posts

Showing posts from December, 2012

Dragon-LP

Image
Sending humans in a SpaceX Dragon v2 capsule to EML-1 or 2 is a worthwhile possible step in a 100% commercial return to the Moon. The SuperDraco thrusters to be included in the sidewalls of the crew Dragon capsule are more than capable of performing the trans-lunar injection burn, as well as station keeping at the Lagrange point, rendezvous with any preemplaced assets - such as a lander - and returning the crew to Earth.

The total delta-v for such a bare bones mission to EML-2 is a mere 4835 m/s. EML-1 is similar. This is a "quick transit" 4-day trip up to EML-2, so the crew spends less time in the radiation belts. A good estimate of the dry mass of the Dragon v2 is 8000 kg. Using an isp of 320s, the initial mass in LEO is just 37344 kg, or 68% of the maximum payload mass of a Falcon Heavy.

Just going to a Lagrange point with a crew on Dragon would be a momentous achievement and could be done for a mere $150M. However, it is just the first step.

If we fill the remaining Fal…