View Full Version : Lockheed lunar landers (LSAM)

Dr Mordrid
17th September 2006, 02:05
Things are busy at Lockheed Martin these days. Shortly after winning the Orion CEV contract they put together at least 3 lunar lander (LSAM) designs.

The original concept was much like the old NASA lander from Apollo days, save for a cylindrical habitat and a bunch of tanks around its perimeter, but there is a problem with that arrangement: lots of small tanks have a larger surface area per unit/volume than one big one, meaning the cryogenic tanks would be thermally inefficient. They also would require more plumbing and struts, causing a higher boiloff rate;


Lockheed came up with a few ideas using large tanks and these are the ones they presented in a recent report.

Dual-Thrust Axis Lander, but I call it the "Space 1999" version.

Both sections would land, but only the foreward section would leave the moon. The diagonal division line is labeled "Ascender sep plane". Cabin space: 28 cubic meters & 2 decks. Note that it settles on wheeled landing gear and uses "biprop" (bipropellant) thrusters mounted to the side of the hull for ascent/descent, very similar to the "Eagle" transports used on Space 1999. Cargo is stowed in pallets under the solar arrays.

Why wheels? If landing at a lunar base this allows the descent stage to be towed to a 'graveyard' for storage instead of building up a ring of descent stages around the base. Yup; a junkyard on the moon.

Two views:


Space 1999 Eagle:


Rather similar, 'eh? :D

Retro-Propulsion Lander; this is very similar, but with a difference.

This one jetissons its descent stage before landing, therefore it has its rear landing gear more foreward. The habitat and inflatable air lock (blue) appear very similar to the first version. From the landing system it too appears to use biprop thrusters for descent/ascent and has wheels for the same reasons.

At first blush this one looks to be the more practical due to the reduced mass on descent, however it reduces cargo stowage considerably. #1 is far better for that and if its tanks are as large as they look landing all that mass may not be an issue.


Single-Stage Lander; looks like an outsider at best:

The problem with it is that the crew cabin is WAY-UP-THERE....meaning some mountain climbing to get up/down in spacesuits. The cabin also looks pretty small, but with those huge cargo pallets you could carry an inflatable habitat and "moon car" easily. Note that in this drawing the landing gear aren't even extended :eek: