WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — A NASA-published volume traces the history of human lunar lander concepts developed since Apollo’s Lunar Module (LM). After LM – NASA Lunar Lander Concepts Beyond Apollo tells the story of physics, technology, and the desire to return humans to the lunar surface through technical descriptions, imagery and subsystem mass breakouts of more than 100 lunar lander concepts created by NASA and its contractors since the Apollo program.
The concepts are grouped by the human exploration timelines that defined the post-Apollo period, starting post-Apollo and continuing through the Space Exploration Initiative and the Vision for Space Exploration, and concluding with the many lander designs created to support NASA’s Constellation program. Readers will see the common “trades” that are explored in crewed landing systems, including propellant types, pressurized volumes, structural mass fractions, mass margins, crew size, and special accommodations for ergonomics and other human factors.
Author John Connolly has spent 33 years at NASA, primarily leading development of lunar surface systems, including landers. “I think this compilation illustrates how, when a crewed lunar lander is stripped down to its most basic functions, its form ultimately responds to fundamental physics and human factors,” Connolly said. “With a nod to science fiction, of course.”
The 277-page After LM – NASA Lunar Lander Concepts Beyond Apollo is free to the public and available for download on NASA’s Technical Reports Server: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20190031985