New Lunar Capabilities Guide

Our friends at SpaceX have passed along word that they've just posted a revised edition of the Falcon Launch Vehicle Lunar Capability Guide.

It's not tremendously different than the previous edition, but does feature the most up-to-date statistics for the Falcon family.

Some key stats:

  • "The Falcon 1 launch vehicle is capable of injecting up to 420 kg into a 185 km circular orbit. Additional trajectories include a range of highly elliptical orbits for proportionally less payload up to 8000 km as shown in Figure 3‐1. By employing a Falcon 1, a lunar‐bound spacecraft equipped with a kick‐motor is capable of reaching sufficient velocities for Trans Lunar Injection"
  • "Falcon 1e is capable of putting just over 1000 kg into LEO at 185km circular orbit and proportionally smaller spacecraft into a highly elliptical orbit of altitudes up to 25,000 km. After LEO or HEO insertion, a kick motor on the spacecraft could then provide the necessary delta‐v to complete a Trans Lunar trajectory and ultimately put a payload onto the lunar surface."
  • "When launched from Cape Canaveral, Falcon 9 is capable of inserting roughly 1925 kg into TLI."

Talk amongst yourselves.

White Label Space said...

Using Falcon 1e, only a very small payload of less than 200kg could be delivered to High Earth Orbit (HEO). The kick-motor required to reach Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO) will take even more mass.
Considering that the delta-V to go from to a landing on the moon is of the order of 3km/s, a lot of the remaining mass will need to be propellant, and the tanks for that propellant. GLXP teams should consider that the theoretical dry mass of a lander relying on launch by the Falcon 1e will likely be very small.

blog comments powered by Disqus