Trans Lunar Research Corporation's primary mission is to create an
economical and practical transportation link between the Earth and the
Moon, to set up a permanently manned Lunar base, and to
promote manned Lunar exploration. Mission requirements
include "cheap" manned and unmanned lunar
transportation hardware, unmanned Lunar Orbiters and Landers, orbital mechanics analysis,
and Lunar base support hardware development. Much of the required Lunar transportation hardware
is presently being developed "in house" by Tran Lunar Research
at its desert facilities in Mojave, California. The design of the amphibious
Neptune 4000 rocket is
nearing completion. In order to bring the Triton Moon rocket to fruition,
$30 million will be required. Your financial support is urgently needed. Through the TLR grant program, many of the mission's
science and hardware
requirements are in the planning stage or are being developed by various organizations
in the USA. The grant program also urgently needs your financial support.
If you would like to donate, click here or
click on the DONATIONS button. Or if you prefer, donate by entering the Trans
Lunar Raffle. Don't forget, your donations are tax deductible.
If you would like to participate in the TLR grant program, click
here or click on the GRANTS button.
TLR's current plans require research in the following areas, which are subject to change as new information and
research data become available.
Mission Development: Several unmanned missions to the moon are planned. The goal of these
missions is to gather Lunar environment data as well as to test-out the
Lunar transportation systems presently under development. Both a
Lunar orbiter and a Lunar
Sample Return System are in the works.
Their specific scientific purpose will be to verify the presence of water and to examine the
selenography of the Lunar Station candidate sites.
Lunar Station Site Prospect: Using the best current information, Trans Lunar Research has selected a Lunar Station site at the Shackleton Crater near the Lunar South Pole. Preliminary data indicates the presence of water at this location as well as a peak high enough to allow the generation of solar power year-round. Placing the habitat within the crater will also provide protection from solar radiation. In the shadow of the crater, cryogenic storage facilities can also be set up for the storage of liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, liquid silane, and liquid hydrogen. As previously mentioned, the final decision on the actual site will be made after the unmanned surveillance and Lander program is completed.
One Lunar Station Requirements:
TLR's goal is a self-sufficient Lunar Station or Moonbase. It appears that with proper
site selection, general power requirements will be satisfied by solar energy. For
lunar manufacturing, the installation of a nuclear power generating
station will be investigated. There are indications of nuclear raw
materials available on the moon.
Lunar Station will be constructed by linking together metal Lunar Habitat
Canisters and inflatable structures. For radiation protection, these units
will be buried under a layer of lunar regolith. Excavation equipment will
be sent to the site for this purpose. Once the Lunar Station is operating,
the area around the site will be explored for the presence of lava tubes
for future underground habitation. The possibility of excavating tunnels into the
sides of the craters will also be investigated. In Phase One, the maximum
number of Lunar Station occupants will be 40.
I Lunar Station: The
major goal of Phase I is to build the basic Station infrastructure. This will
include the Lunar Station life-support structures and climate control
system, a solar power plant, an oxygen generator plant, a lunar
ice processing plant, a greenhouse to produce food, plus the excavation of
a Lunar spaceport, and the preparation of a supply processing and storage area. In addition,
extensive exploration of the lunar environment will be made for
nitrogen and carbon sources. Carbon may be found in meteorites and
nitrogen may be found locked in gas pockets under the surface. These elements
must be found if the Lunar Station is to become truly self-sufficient.
Lunar Transportation: Several suitable and presently available launchers have been examined and their cost has been determined to be prohibitive. Using TLR's preferred mission scenario and using the least expensive of these commercially available launchers, each unmanned supply mission would cost at least $300 million and each manned mission would cost at least $500 million. Since the lowest cost launchers are foreign, US State Department restrictions may also prevent their use because of technology transfer issues.
It has been determined that in order for a manned Lunar Station to be feasible, the cost per mission, whether a supply mission or a manned mission, must be held below $25 million. At this price, a forty person base with 11 Habitat Canisters, a Science Center, and a prototype Lunar manufacturing facility, would cost $800 million. This is about the cost of one Space Shuttle launch.
In order to be able to carry out Lunar missions at such a relatively low cost, Trans Lunar Research and its associates are developing a new "cheap" launch vehicle, the Neptune 4000. With a payload capacity of 10,000 pounds (4,535 Kg), this medium payload capacity sea-launched rocket is designed to utilize the Earth Orbit Rendezvous method and "fuzzy boundary" trajectories to send heavy, unmanned payloads to the surface of the moon, and a combination Earth Orbit/Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method for the delivery of humans to and from the surface of the moon. For further details, click here.
How can the Trans Lunar Research Corporation carry out manned Lunar missions at such a low-cost? Hardware development costs can be kept low at TLR, since Trans Lunar Research is a nonprofit corporation and is not driven solely by profit motivation. All missions will be carried out at cost. In addition, TLR will conduct commercial operations to generate additional funds. These commercial operations will include Earth-Orbit Tourism, commercial satellite launches, and NASA support missions. The funds will be used solely for Lunar Station development and research Grant Programs.
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