LEO to L1 tanker propellant 257 6,921 2 BFR tankers, earth, lEO 2,768,400, mars transit prop (payload) cisln tanker, lEO.
Controversy and confusion continue to swirl around the issue of a cislunar space base, no matter where it is proposed to be built, what it is named, or what it is supposed to be for.
It costs about 200,000 to launch a Falcon 9 with about 500 tons of fuel (LOX and RP1) on board, thus that fuel combination costs about 400 dollars per ton.
Very recently, the name and orientation of this project has changed again, to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, or LOP-G.
800 per month.Payload payl mass prop mass vehicle from to propel.Lets assume you have moved your Mars expedition fleet dry mass (less the transit and bootstrapping propellant) to either a position at L1 or into a high orbit that is at a similar distance from Earth as L1 is, ready for its Oberth-style Mars departure.These numbers will probably change some as the extremely efficient BFR designs are refined further by SpaceX.Let us assume that we have vehicles ready for a Mars mission, either three large 85100 ton dry mass vehicles, similar in size to the SpaceX BFS stage, able to carry a small crew plus a lot of cargo, or a set of ten smaller.Assume that both fleets have about 4,000 tons of dry mass and need about 2,100 tons of propellant at L1 to depart via an Oberth maneuver.
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At the same time, nasa says that there may not be enough room on the LOP-G station to accommodate international science participation.
If the platform is supported by the SLS, it would eat up even more funds, leaving little for any other human space projects, and could delay the establishment of an actual lunar base by a decade.
The difference is primarily caused by the fact that you need a huge amount of propellant to move the Mars transit propellant from Earth, but only a small amount to move it from the Moon.
Reusable Lunar surface to L1 return tanker masses Trip Component 1 load mass mass fraction mass for 14 loads Dry structural mass 0 tons.08 420 Transit propellant payload 150 tons.40 210 subtotal 180.48 2520 return to base propellant 25 tons.07 350.So where is the physical path for this gateway?(If you are not using any lunar propellant, the advantage of the high departure point is much less.) From L1, lunar propellant can be delivered to LEO for only about.85 kilometers per second of velocity change, and even directly from the lunar surface for.Even the cislunar tanker must undergo an aerocapture to return to LEO from L1, while the lunar-to-L1 tanker would encounter only the stresses of thrust and landings.This means the small tanker needs to carry only 7 tons of descent propellant with it to L1, with a margin.