Descent Stage Layout Notes
The current design of the descent stage involves 6 cylindrical hydrogen
tanks surrounding 1 spherical oxygen tank.
|Hydrogen tank radius (x6) || 25.84 inches |
|Oxygen tank radius || 38 inches |
|Tank length || 78 inches (overall, not just constant
The tank structure is sized to fit inside the dynamic envelope of a Titan IV booster (15 feet
diameter). The tanks are about 13.5 feet diameter, plus structure, launch
This is surrounded with a hexagonal cage of structural members, although
the surrounding hydrogen tanks offer a lot of structural rigidity. The
laboratory deployment mechanism is hinged at the last major structural
member, at the base of the tanks.
You probably wouldn't really see the tanks. We'd cover the whole tank
assembly with crinkly gold foil to reflect sunlight away from the
cryogenics. So the propulsion structure would wind up looking a bit like
the base of the lunar module.
The design showing 6 landing gear, continuing the hexagonal symmetry, is
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