- Mar 23, 2008
- Reaction score
As the Light Weight Lunar Lander is much fun to fly, I revisited another light Lunar lander concept from 2019.
This concept was proposed by Robert Zubrin in the article Moon Direct on The New Atlantis.
He proposed an LH2/LOX vessel to pick up the crew in low Earth orbit, ferry them directly to the Moon, and return them to LEO later.
The vessel should be small enough to fit on a FalconHeavy, while the crew would follow in Dragon spacecraft.
Later - when water and fuel production would be available on the Moon - the LEV could be used to explore the Lunar surface at a much wider range than a wheeled rover.
To achieve this dual use, the Orbiter vessel can be switched between the classical tailsitter mode for deep-space maneuvers, and hover mode to fly around the Lunar surface by pressing the [M] key. When inside the cockpit, you will notice a 90° change of the viewing direction. The modes use their respective engine configurations (main and hover engine). Switch modes only in free flight, not when docked or main engines firing.
A special thanks to BrianJ, who provided me with the code to rotate the vesselstate for the Mars Ascent Vehicle, years ago.