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Lunar Gateway & LEO distributed anchor tenant space station fleet

July 26, 2018

Lunar gateway will most likely feature a competed SEP component (PPE)This could be used as an ISS re-boost stage and as an orbital element at Mars. Utilizing this SEP COTS could provide three providers with uses in dozens of locations

Long-term Storage of Cryogenic propellants provides another set of competitors

ISS should be a long-term project out to 2032 to serve as a COTS incubator.ISS it has been suggested is an LEO private space station incubator. Here is how we should do this;

The Lunar Gateway should be built with five copies. One in EML-1 The Second in a High Earth orbit with Lunar flyby to Mars orbit, the third prepositioned in Mars orbit.ISS modules its been suggested could be detached as Anchor tenants to private LEO stations. HEO gateway might enable easy COTS assembly. The ISS Truss will last forever so the ISS should be preserved or reused

Serial production of some components of the Lunar gateway purposed as Mars orbital elements and Mars transit vehicles is a goal here, use COTS to resupply the Mars orbital elements. At Mars, the resupply vehicle becomes a part of the space station.

We would need 5 initial SEP modules(Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) )


(1)ISS (2)HEO (3)EML-1 (4)Mars transit (5)mars orbital This its hoped leads to SEP resupply as a COTS model

We need 5 inflatable modules (  Cislunar Habitation Module )


(1)ISS (2)HEO (3)EML-1 (4)Mars transit (5)Mars orbital. This its hoped leads to inflatable resupply as a COTS model. ISS derived cargo resupply are also acceptable but not for the primary space station due to astronaut health. We need Volume to make this work as a Mars transit vehicle and Mars orbital outpost. We need more than 5 docking mechanisms for growth of these stations. Only three of the NextStep proposers are offering volume, Bigalow, Orbital/Dover and Independence-1

We need 5 Gateway Logistics Modules  and 5 Canada robotic arms for;

(1)ISS (2)HEO (3)EML-1 (4)Mars transit (5)Mars orbital. This is an international contribution but it is also an opportunity for Canada to establish serial production and pricing.

We need 5 Gateway Airlock Modules for;

(1)ISS (2) HEO (3) EML-1  (4)Mars transit (5)Mars orbital.


We have blogged before that most future SLS flights would be dedicated to the Skylab-II concepts. These involve transporting the propellant tank space station into LEO and then the SEP COTS providers. Gateway space stations in the inner solar system would be docked to these.


The NASA proposed Gateway is in the wrong orbit for a cost-effective reusable Lunar lander because gateway Delta-V is unfavorable and would lead to runaway mass and R&D costs. The EML-1 Gateway could have a Cryogenic Xenon fuel depot! This blog article assumes the Congress will never build a constellation class Lunar Lander, an SLS class Lunar lander would cost the same as the Orion or $15 Billion so we assume that the Mars Lunar goals are orbital outposts with Deimos and Phobos and perhaps Venus as extras

The goal is COTS resupply of 5 or more orbital outposts in the cislunar inner solar system and human-tended most are. The Mars orbital gateway would be human-tended for far longer periods of time

We need 5 cryogenic Xenon propellant depots for;

(1)ISS (2) HEO (3) EML-1  (4)Mars transit (5)Mars orbital.

We need 5 Nanoracks Independence-1 centaur space stations for;

(1)ISS (2) HEO (3) EML-1  (4)Mars transit (5)Mars orbital. We see synergy here between the Nanoracks Centaur and the (Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) ) The Nanoracks Centaur would bring itself and the PPE to HEO with a Lunar flyby the PPE would use SEP to get the stack the rest of the way “there” 

Some inclinations might allow a manifested   commercial cargo and the PPE with the Nanoracks centaur or an additional Gateway component or this concept;

Nanoracks Centaur burns to depletion, NDS, payload adapter, Gateway component, payload adapter, NDS, PPE, after depletion burn the PPE does a Transpositiondocking, and extraction with the stack.


EDIT 27 July 2018

GEO gateway with a large commercial comsat and a Xenon propellant depot, this is in support of Xenon resupply of commercial assets, This Gateway even more so then the ISS or any other Gateway holds the most promise for commercial activity. From this location, satellite repair and debris removal could be demonstrated.

Possibly rent is owed to this gateway from the fuel depot and the satellite resupply and refurbishment of commercial entities and the very large communication satellite demonstration project. Human tended GEO gateway could offer EVA services if that might be economically attractive? We suspect that a government or private astronaut is billing many different customers so EVA to assemble a very large communication satellite would pay for a portion of the astronauts trip.



Venus Gateway with Radar imager


















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