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VASIMR Lunar Tug Concept

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An unmanned cargo capability based on VASIMR propulsion offers significant cost savings to NASA and commercial lunar exploration programs. VASIMR can deliver twice as much payload to the lunar surface, compared to chemical propulsion, if used as a ‘tug boat’ between Low Earth Orbit and Low Lunar Orbit. At the present, chemical propulsion always has to be used to climb out of Earth’s atmosphere and into a Low Earth Orbit, in addition to the final lunar landing descent. Beyond VX-200 (VASIMR Experimental, 200 kW) and VF-200 (VASIMR Flight, 200 kW) demonstrations, the Ad Astra Rocket Company plans to fill a developing high power transportation niche near Earth for orbit maintenance of large space structures for commerce and tourism and satellite repositioning, retrieval and re supply. Longer term applications for which VASIMR may be ideally suited include: the delivery of large payloads to the lunar surface, recovery of space resources from asteroids and comets and propelling cargo and human missions to Mars and beyond. More at: www.AdAstraRocket.com en.wikipedia.org


19 Responses to “VASIMR Lunar Tug Concept”

  1. granddad2002 says:

    From the autonomous fueling and the lifter and the faring assembly… this looks like how the ESA will do a lunar logistics mission?

  2. SUPERBOOM777 says:

    @notessimodude LOL i thought almost same thing!!!

  3. notessimodude says:

    @TheFluffyDuck Well now is like the stage between the space stages… kind of like we’re building up and testing technologies.

  4. notessimodude says:

    FUCK! I found my penis… why is it made of metal and blasting to space…?

  5. granddad2002 says:

    WE have the engineering, the scientific need… and millions on Earth who want that seat. But Governments and Aerospace run on ‘votes’ and ‘money’, you can see some of the difficulty here. The future is changing… as need for satellites and breakthroughs in new resources.. space is going to be a part of how we live in the post-modern world. Countries that miss the opportunities can always learn to bow to their new masters.

  6. WalterSolano says:

    I hope i will be a live for that day! I will be so happy see humans traveling other planets.

  7. junkymagi says:

    Most will be damaged beyond repair, you can break those down in solar ovens to recover raw materials for building something else. Won’t be very efficient but better than mining raw materials on the moon and could be used to help test smelting technology on the moon without specifically hauling raw materials in for the tests.

    Oh, and the fuel tank from the cargo pod that is thrown away could have more padding around it or balloon it for landing then recover the fuel for use on the moon.

  8. junkymagi says:

    Once the tug gets to mars, it’s discarded? Seems like a waste. Have the shrouds that are used to cover it during launch fold forward out of the way for the trip. After arrival fold the solar array back up and close the shroud over them then do a hard landing on the moon where that fuel tank from the cargo is going to land. After the cargo lands, send a rover or two out and recover the materials.

  9. emerychandler says:

    needs some sound, music, sound effects but that was awsome vasimr is going to be very succesfull

  10. Interleap says:

    20 MEGAPIXEL CAMERA PHONES IN 2010!

  11. lkrrkl says:

    The Vasmr will be the first project on the participating Costa Rica with name and titles, thanks to the company Ad Astra Rocket Company in the same country. It is the pioneer in plasma thrusters and the only one that is developing. With headquarters in Liberia, Costa Rica, and Texas, U.S..
    Franklin Chang Diaz, scientist, engineer and former astronaut with seven flights of the company’s founder and leader of the investigation.

  12. docmordrid says:

    NASA just issued a solicitation for VASIMR engines for the initial purpose of testing a tug like this. If this works it could well be our first space drive capable of traveling around the solar system not in years but just weeks – as in 40 days to Mars instead of 1-2 years.

    In many ways it is the impulse drive from Star Trek.

  13. TheFluffyDuck says:

    The only thing our civilisation has too look foward to is a dying planet and mobile phones with bigger cameras built in :(

    unfortunatly exploration and coloniation don’t factor into that :(

  14. barahmasa says:

    Unfortunately you’re right bro!

  15. TheFluffyDuck says:

    Ill be dead long before humans have an urge to go into space again. Untill then Big Brother and Australian Idol will have to suffice *sigh*

  16. Interleap says:

    i dont think so because this is going on in a vacum so the forces of the rocket will be much weaker

    also the rocket is going to be weaker aswell because there is much less gravity on the moon.

  17. roidroid says:

    would it be safe to be standing so close to the active rocket, like that astronaut at the end of the video?

    i would think the exhaust and blown up moon-dust may have an abrasive action on the face plate of the spacesuit – or even blow him off his feet.

  18. whitesox629 says:

    birds were a nice touch

  19. kattejuice says:

    cool

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