TransLunar Transportation System
Section 4.2.1.
Home Tour Join! Contents Team News Catalog Search Comm

LTV Docking Adaptor Details

On the docking adaptor, there will be three berthing petals pointing inside the ring. The petals are shaped like a truncated triangle::

                  /               \

The wide part is attached to the ring, and the narrow part sticks out from the ring. This makes the berthing adaptor look sort of like a sand worm with only three teeth.

These are guides that allow the RMS operator to get the two spacecraft together.

They are removable. Once the two vehicles are mated and the crew has ingressed through the airlock side hatch, they will open the hatches between the airlock and the Lunar Transfer Vehicle and use a socket wrench to remove the petals. Once the petals are out of the way, the crew has room to move through the hatch. There's just barely enough room with a 33" diameter hatch to get a Shuttle suit through, but the astronaut will certainly bump his PLSS on the hatch ring. Since we're planning on using a modified Apollo suit, the fit won't be quite so tight, but it will still be pretty close.

Each side of the berthing adaptor -- the airlock side and the LTV side -- has identical petals. The only difference is that the petals on one side are clocked 60 degrees so that the two sides slip together like intertwining fingers.

In the circular ring surrounding the berthing adaptor, we have electrical connectors that carry data between the LTV and the airlock (and hence to the hab) until the two vehicles separate in lunar orbit. That allows for command of the entire vehicle from the control station in the LTV. (Is this necessary? Apollo didn't have it. We could leave them out. If we need to run data or power cables between the two spacecraft, we'll run a little cord through the hatch and remove it before we separate.)

Looking toward the berth adaptor from outside, you'd see a circular ring with the petals inside. You'd also see, recessed inside, the hatch with its reinforcing ribs, crank handle, pressure equalization valve, and circular window. Also, a handrail just outside the berthing adaptor.

The two berthing adaptors slip together, one inside the other, and lock down with latches.

  ________________________   _________________
                 ___      | |
        ________/   |_____| |        CROSS-SECTION OF BERTHING ADAPTOR
       |         ___        |
       |  _____ /   |____________
       | |     |______________+_|  <-- spring-loaded latch
  _____| |_____________________________________


The latch things might be visible to someone inside the berth adaptor ring as a rectangle about the size of your hand. There would be a few of those around the circumference. They would go on the active side, with the latch, on the LTV, since the hab will never need it again once it's on the lunar surface.

You could also show a hatch cover folded back and attached to the end cap of the Spacehab. We'll also leave a hole in it for the forward window. We'll probably make the hatch cover out of beta cloth -- the same shiny white stuff we make use in the outer layer of the space suit. So it would be stitched and waffly looking. The hatch cover provides some thermal balancing to keep the hatch at a constant temperature (so it doesn't distort and jam) and aborbs micrometeoroid impacts.

TransLunar Transportation System

Home Tour Join! Contents Team News Catalog Search Comm
ASI W9600911r1.1. Copyright © 2007 Artemis Society International, for the contributors. All rights reserved.
This web site contains many trade names and copyrighted articles and images. Refer to the copyright page for terms of use.
Author: Gregory Bennett. Maintained by ASI Web Team <>.
Submit update to this page. Maintained with WebSite Director. Updated Sat, Mar 7, 1998.