Achromatic Trajectories and the IndustrialScale Transport of Lunar Resources
Abstract
Largescale transport of lunar material can be accomplished by launches in small payloads by massdriver along unguided trajectories. Achromatic trajectories then overcome the problem of dispersions due to launch velocity errors. These trajectories incorporate a focusing effect, which reduces the dispersions by four orders of magnitude from their expected values. The massdriver is to be located close to the lunar equator at 33.1 deg E longitude. A masscatcher then can maneuver near the L(2) Lagrangian point, intercepting the payloads. For an optimized catching trajectory, the catcher requires deltaV = 187 m/s per month, peak thrust = 0.1414 newtons per ton of loaded catcher mass, and for a reference propulsion concept, the Rotary Pellet Launcher, peak power of 0.316 kilowatts per ton. Caught material can be transferred with deltaV = 60 m/s to a processing facility (space colony) in stable high earth orbit. This transport system can accommodate 100,000 tons per month of lunar material, with an appropriately sized masscatcher.
 Publication:

Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century
 Pub Date:
 1985
 Bibcode:
 1985lbsa.conf..155H
 Keywords:

 Extraterrestrial Resources;
 Lunar Bases;
 Lunar Trajectories;
 Mass Drivers;
 Space Transportation;
 Astrodynamics;
 Catchers;
 Mineral Exploration;
 Space Commercialization;
 Three Body Problem;
 Astrodynamics