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Old October 15 2012, 03:58 AM   #236
Location: Kentucky
Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
^ That's exactly the problem: everyone's talking about NASA repeating its previous achievements, essentially a reboot of the Apollo program; the thinking is that NASA went the wrong direction AFTER Apollo, so what we need to do is time travel back to 1974 and make NASA turn left instead of right.
I'm not saying we exactly repeat Apollo, because too many of the original members are old or dead. But many of their grandchildren could be trained to fly and are already computer literate! There are even Von Brauns still around who could handle the design work, and we could find a surviving Kennedy to announce it a few months before he skiis into a tree or crashes a plane or something.

I'm just pointing out that an HLV isn't required even to exactly repeat Apollo if we switch to a better storable hypergolic, and SLS/CEV seems to be an Apollo rehash without enough funding for the lander - or much of anything else, either. A Falcon 9H version would only cost a couple hundred million a mission instead of a couple billion, while leaving enough funds available to actually build a base, an infrastructure, and start processing fuel.

The Li3AlH6/H2O2 (O/F ratio 0.7) is interesting, as lithium is in some moon rocks at 70-150 ppm and aluminum and oxygen are of course everywhere in abundance. Hydrogen is the problem with lunar fuel, and this fuel gives a 4% better ISP than LH2/LOX, doesn't require crygenic storage, is hypergolic, has a density of 1.0, and uses only half as much hydrogen as LH2/LOX. That might help make both lunar fuel and give us smaller, lighter fuel depots.
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