Alternative LTV Missions
Section 5.4.
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Case for a Modular LTV Architecture

One thing that cislunar space needs now is an Orbital Transfer Vehicle that can be used to move around or repair dead satellites, move payloads, and fetch things for the shuttle. There is a significant revenue source to be had, but the typical roadblocks for commerical space development (high development costs, percieved risk, long term before realising a profit) have hampered previous efforts.

The Artemis Project Lunar Transfer Vehicle might make a nice fit. It has the capability, engines, DV capacity, sensors, computers, data links, and all the amenities that an OTV should have. It is even manned.

However, GEO is where all the action is, and that happens to be in the most hazardous part of the Val-Allen belts. So the crew, in all likelihood, should not go on the satellite retrieval missions.

So now what good is our pressure vessel and supporting systems? They triple the mass of the spacecraft, and have little benefit. It forces us to loft more fuel to perform the same mission in GEO, because of the deadweight. in fact, it blows the whole scenario.

So, an ideal vehicle would simple by a LTV without a pressure vessel. But we do need one, for some OTV missions and, of course, the moonshot.

The proposal: engineer the LTV in such a way that the pressure vessel is a modular attachment to the engines/data/computer/service module section. This would add a trivial amount of mass and complexity (read cost), and expand the LTV's capabilities (read: revenues) enormously.

This would let us loft a number of modules of several types. Perhaps an expanded CM to allow the LTV base unit to take a crew to a Near Earth Asteroid? Or a robotic manipulator to allow on-orbit GEO servicing, rather then lugging the satellite out of the Van-Allen belts to be repaired or refueled.

Making the LTV modular would expand its capabilities and revenue-producing potential, getting us into space faster.

Alternative LTV Missions

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