- establishing an initial infrastructure on the Moon -


THE CRITICAL MISSING PIECE Multiple companies are making good progress on launchers of use for lunar access. Starship really stands out in that, if successful, it would be so large and so inexpensive that it would make all other launchers irrelevant. But the one piece of the puzzle that is missing is the lunar lander. NASA is funding several companies to ultimately develop a lunar lander of varying reusability. Without a lander, we won't ever return to the lunar surface. LANDER OPTIONS The quickest way of getting a lunar lander would have been to modify the existing and highly-flown centaur upper stage made by ULA. Click here to see what could have been. Unfortunately, ULA's parent companies didn't allow ULA to propose this quick solution.

Instead, there are three other companies with three proposals for lunar landers. The National Team headed by Blue Origin proposes a traditional, Apollo-style solution including descent and ascent stages, and a tug. Dynetics proposes a rather unique solution in which the lander drops some propellant tanks to lighten itself so that the crew cabin and engines can be used for both descent and ascent. SpaceX offers the most radical solution by far which would be a lunar modification of its Starship. It would be rather tall and have landing engines high up on its body so as to avoid blasting lunar dust around.

We can have a cost-effective, full-scale lunar lander soon.

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