Spacecraft Propulsion Tech Committee
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Spacecraft Propulsion Tech Committee Task List

The Spacecraft Propulsion Technical Committee is based around detailing and working on the design of the Reference Mission's spacecraft propulsion systems. It was also established to act as a technical advisory group for other teams working on the Artemis Project.

In working on a project such as this, and in doing it in an environment such as the one you are presently within, we need to remember that we are all working together on this project.  We all want to get there quickly, safely, and efficiently.  Everybody should know that each of these tasks listed below are there to help us reach our goals.  If you feel that working as a group on your particular task will help the creative juices start flowing, then by all means let us know who and how many.  Don't worry if you only want to work on one part of a subtopic; there is no need to tackle a mammoth task all at once. Keep in mind that even some raw figures and preliminary calculations are very useful for those doing analyses who may derive the rest of the data from the sundry subtopics. Give whatever data you have; don't hold on to it until you're all done with the study.

When you choose a topic, or subtopic, from the task list, please remember to do a couple of things before you get started, and while you are working on the task.  Take some time to think about the problem, and how you might try to solve it.  I don't expect you to have it all thought through by the end of the day, but when you think you have an idea, please take a moment to outline it.  Each outline will be saved in an archive.  As you begin to work on the task, I would also like to have each person send in progress reports every two months.  It doesn't have to be anything long and detailed; just something to let us know how things are going.  So, in the future, if you decide to change tasks, or leave all together, we will have an idea of how you were going to solve the problem; and what you might have  accomplished along the way.

So far, nearly everything needs a volunteer to take a crack at the research, calculations, brainstorming, or writing.  The slightest amount of help does wonders to a group project, and any help at all gets us one step closer to the Moon.

The task list will be divided up into two major areas: First is an area with tasks that are in need of immediate attention; Secondly, a section, or sections, that list more long-term tasks to be completed.  These tasks will usually consist of follow-on to the immediates in the first section.  In some cases, the immediates are nothing more than specific sub-sections to the more general tasks.  If you, or your group wish to take on different sub-sections, please let us know so we can mark it.

Please remember that we are all working on this together. If you have any questions about your topic, or need assistance on data or calculations, please feel free to ask somebody else in the group.

Detail Reference Mission Main Propulsion

The main propulsion system of the Reference Mission is the focus of the Propulsion Tech Committee. Issues such as the supply, cost, performance, mass of engine and fuels, types of engines used and for what purpose, and requirements of critical components all need to be detailed.

Under overall requirements, we need to characterize each system dependent upon the mission proposed.  We also need to think about our options under what will work efficiently coupled with what will help keep our costs from sky-rocketing.

Please keep in mind that all the URLs listed as "Notes:" next to each section are preliminary studies of the design.  Certain designs and vehicle requirements are there as references, e.g. the lunar transfer vehicle (LTV) URLs listed below.  If you have any improvements that are complete changes, please make them known by the method described above.

Note: George P. Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion Elements" is a good introduction to the science and engineering behind rocket-powered spaceflight.  Sections on chemical, solid, and ion engines are a good start to the subject.

Detail Reference Mission Maneuvering Systems

Maneuvering rockets are going to be used extensively in the Reference Mission. Decisions to be made involve what type of rockets to use, gyros or thrusters, what their burn time requirements are, how powerful they need to be, integration with the rest of the spacecraft, precision requirements, and other related issues.

Detail Reference Mission Fuel Requirements, Support, and Storage

The Reference Mission spacecraft will need an enormous amount of fuel to get to the Moon and back. Storage of large amounts of cryogenics will be tricky, yet this is a critical part of the Reference Mission. The factors below all need to be decided for each of the vehicles in the Reference Mission.

Note: Please check these links for introductory fuel specs for the Ascent and Descent stages of the Reference Mission.

  •  Descent Stage
  •  Ascent Stage

  • Detail Reference Mission Propulsion Support Systems

    Propulsion systems can be very complex, and thus have myriad minor subsystems that need to be detailed. The cost, supply, mass, energy requirements, and other spefifications of these subsystems need to be detailed, for each of the vehicles in the Reference Mission.

    Provide Propulsion-Related Assistence

    Many of the other groups in the Artemis Project depend on data and baseline plans from the Propulsion Technical Committee. These data have to be worked out quickly and effectively distributed, as well as kept up to date. Also, many other groups, such as the main Artemis-list and non-techinical teams working on various issues occasionally need calculations to be worked out, or advice on propulsion-related issues. Having a permanent presence and giving accurate advice to other groups is also essential.


    We are always looking for additional volunteers to help with the tasks outlined relating to propulsion. If you are willing to give it a try, even if you don't have any experience in the area you would like to work in, please send mail with the task you want to help with to OSF Admin

    Spacecraft Propulsion Tech Committee

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