THE ARTEMIS PROJECT
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ON THE MOON
Access to Low Earth Orbit
Section 4.1.1.1.
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Shuttle Payload Capability

From the Shuttle reference web page: http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/stsref-toc.html

Cargo weight is defined as the payload control weight plus the weight of the attached hardware used to secure the payload to the orbiter. Allowable cargo weight is determined by altitude and orbital inclination. For example, on a standard inclination of 28.45 degrees, maximum cargo weight capability in a circular orbit at an altitude of 100 nautical miles is about 55,000 lb. This capability decreases with altitude and falls to about 40,000 lb. in a 300-mile circular orbit. At the higher inclination of 57 degrees (also a standard inclination), cargo weight capability is 40,000 lb. in a 100-mile circular orbit. This decreases to slightly over 20,000 lb. in a 320-mile-high orbit. These weights are those for a nominal ascent for what is described as a "simple, short duration, satellite deploy mission."

The 20,000 lb. number roughly corresponds to the International Space Station at its higher elevations. Note: Columbia's numbers for this are 2,000 lbs lower as it is a heavier orbiter.

Access to Low Earth Orbit

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