THE ARTEMIS PROJECT
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ON THE MOON
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Section 4.1.1.
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Comparison of Artemis and Apollo Moonships

The Artemis mission is very different from Apollo. The destination and crew size are the same, but that's where the comparison ends. Because of that difference, the weight is hard to compare, as the components perform different functions. However, it is clear the Artemis vehicles have the advantage.

     Command Module dry weight:      26,965.3 lb
     Lunar Module dry weight:         5,874.0 lb
     Ascent stage dry weight:         7,893.8 lb
     Stack at TLI burn termination: 102,642.7 lb
Ref: MSC Internal Note No. 72-FM-69, "Apollo 16 Lunar Trajectory Notes," 13 March 1972
                                         Artemis/Apollo
     LTV:                         4,000 lb    14.83%
     Descent Stage dry weight:   10,000 lb   126.68%
     Ascent Stage dry weight:     1,600 lb    20.26%
Ref: Internal memo, "Artemis Flight One Trajectory Analysis," April 21, 1994.

These weights were based on using helium-pressurized hydrazine engines for the Descent and Ascent Stages, as did Apollo.

The major reasons the LTV weighs so much less than the Apollo CM are:

  1. The "escape stage" is part of the stack being sent--the LTV--and is also used for return. This doubling up of duties reduces the required mass.

  2. The "ascent stage" makes the LM ascent stage look positively obese.

  3. How much of the mass going to the moon in Apollo is heat shield and how much propellant is required to lug it to lunar orbit and back to Earth.

  4. Electronics are much lighter these days.

  5. Electronics use much less power now, saving on power supply weight.

  6. Structures that function only in the vacuum of space can be much lighter than those that have to ram through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, and Artemis's vehicles have greater structural efficiency in their shape.

  7. Half again the ISP of the CSM and LM, reducing fuel requirements dramatically.

  8. Less massive docking mechanism than Apollo.

  9. No landing system is needed, as we go down on a shuttle.

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