SLS EUS Skylab-II mission design with Argon/Neon ullage/SEP gases
We propose that SLS EUS uses Argon/Neon ullage gases for a secondary use as a SEP propellant.We have chosen to research noble gas mixes that should not ice or freeze with the LO2, the Argon/Neon mix should not.A in space fractionation/liquidation unit would be needed to separate Gases propellent oxidizer noble gases.Its intended the EUS utilize both IVF and SEP after the chemical burn.It’s also intended that the EUS could be refueled with chemical fuel.
The Payload is the proposed Skylab-II, we propose the uncrewed Skylab-II be pressurized with Xenon( no icing issues) or retain the EUS Argon/Neon for transfer to the EUS after it exhausts its supply.The Skylab-II would need its atmosphere restored with crew arrival.Some noble gases retained for SEP station keeping.Transporting crew air separate from the noble gas pressurized volume needs trade study.Crew O2 & N2 from local ISRU at destination makes the more hard to find and process Argon/Neon ullage/SEP propellent sensible.
Tanks for N2 and O2 for the Skylab-II are added weight; better to use a COTS program to preposition this at the destination( costs and programmatic) COTS preposition allows for single launch SLS with this truly hybrid SEP/chemical system to maximize mass to destination.
We advocate that any human crew habitat in transit to a destination as cargo or being propositioned could be pressurized with SEP propellent, inflatable habitats with their low weight to thrust ratio make a very attractive SEP tank.Bigelow inflated with Xenon or Argon/Neon are examples of this idea
Years ago the wet lab concept was conceived, our concept we propose is “SEP/Gas/lab”Our idea is in fact similar to ULA’s distributed launch.The large expensive launch vehicle and its cargo is greatly extended by the ISP of SEP and repurposing ullage gases, subsequent COTS vehicles refuel, resupply, preposition.
SEP/gaslab lends itself to pressurized space provisions/avionics/equipment while cryogenic wet lab concepts do not! Skylab-II could fly intact with lab equipment/avionics/provisions for crew intact with SEP propellants. Noble gasses are after all preservatives for food and DOD equipment.