Sunday, June 15, 2008

Part 3 of Selenian Orbital Access Methodologies

As part of a series on orbital space access, Jon from Selenian Boondocks and Masten Space Systems describes the Pop-up TSTO (Two Stage to Orbit) concept. The concept is applicable at least generally to the Lunar Lander Challenge for the first of the two stages:

The first stage reenters and lands vertically like the suborbital vehicles that we at MSS, as well as our friends at Armadillo Aerospace, TGV, and Blue Origin are trying to do.

As Jon mentions, the types of suborbital vehicles the LLC is encouraging can, when operational, also help develop technology for the second of the two stages, for example by allowing cheaper testing of thermal protection systems with a small scale second stage launched from an operational LLC-derived (or similar) vehicle.