Launching Rockets and Small Satellites from the Lunar Surface
Abstract
Scientific payloads and their propulsion systems optimized for launch from the lunar surface differ considerably from their counterparts for use on earth. For spinstabilized payloads, the preferred shape is a large diametertolength ratio to provide stability during the thrust phase. The rocket motor required for a 50kg payload to reach an altitude of one lunar radius would have a mass of about 41 kg. To place spinstabilized vehicles into low altitude circular orbits, they are first launched into an elliptical orbit with altitude about 840 km at aposelene. When the spacecraft crosses the desired circular orbit, small retrorockets are fired to attain the appropriate direction and speed. Values of the launch angle, velocity increments, and other parameters for circular orbits of several altitudes are tabulated. To boost a 50kg payload into a 100km altitude circular orbit requires a total rocket motor mass of about 90 kg.
 Publication:

Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century
 Pub Date:
 1985
 Bibcode:
 1985lbsa.conf..177A
 Keywords:

 Launching Bases;
 Lunar Launch;
 Rocket Launching;
 Spacecraft Launching;
 Circular Orbits;
 Lunar Orbits;
 Payloads;
 Sounding Rockets;
 Space Commercialization;
 Spin Stabilization;
 Launch Vehicles and Space Vehicles