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Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg
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Sa08 Prop Depot Panel Rand Simberg

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Rand Simberg's Space Access 08 Propellant Depots Panel Presentation on Business Considerations for Orbital Propellant Depots

Rand Simberg's Space Access 08 Propellant Depots Panel Presentation on Business Considerations for Orbital Propellant Depots

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  • 1. Business Considerations For Propellant Depots Rand Simberg WYSIS Space Access 2008 March 28, 2008
  • 2. Depots Open Up Cis-Lunar Space <ul><li>Contra Mike, ESAS Is Not The Interstate Highway System </li></ul><ul><li>True Equivalent Of IHS Would Have Gas Stations </li></ul><ul><li>Even More Important For Space Vehicles Than Ground Transportation, Due To Rocket Equation And Exponential Nature Of Propellant Requirements As Function Of Distance (Velocity) </li></ul>
  • 3. Depots As Fuel “Caches” <ul><li>Think Of Depots As A Form Of Staging </li></ul><ul><li>Analogies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-placed Caches For Antarctic Exploration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hanging Scuba Tanks For Intermediate Safety Stops </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Depots Extend Reach/Increase Payload If : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Propellant Can Be Delivered More Cheaply Than Time-Critical Cargoes And Personnel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Low-Thrust Tankers Or Cycling Depots </li></ul></ul>
  • 4. Infrastructure Should Be Robust <ul><li>Propellant Depot Architecture Renders Depots Essential For Continuing Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot Have Single-Point Failure </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Redundancy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depot Designs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Propellant Providers </li></ul></ul>
  • 5. Redundancy/Competition Unaffordable Without High Volume Of Operations <ul><li>Cost Amortization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Depot Types Involve Multiple Developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Depots Multiply Production Costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple Providers Need Enough Market To Support Them All </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t Want To Show Up At The Depot With No Capacity To Offload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demand Has To Support Supply (Oil Tanker Analogy) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have To Find Sufficient Customers And Build Markets </li></ul>
  • 6. LEO Depot Location Considerations <ul><li>LEO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>28.5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equatorial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plane Change Penalty To GEO Constant For Any Inclination </li></ul><ul><li>Maximizing Lunar Departure/Return Opportunities Requires Multiple LEO Depots For Non-Equatorial Orbits </li></ul><ul><li>Another Driver For Redundancy </li></ul>
  • 7. Other Depot Locations For Complete Cis-Lunar Infrastructure <ul><li>Lagrange Points (Propellants From Lunar Surface Or LEO…Or Other) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>L1 (Shorter Trip Times) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>L2 (Lower Delta V) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lunar Surface—Various Locations (Propellants Locally Produced Or Delivered From Lagrange Points) </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities Between Lunar Surface And Lagrange Points Continuous </li></ul>
  • 8. Hybrid Location <ul><li>Consider Tankers Cycling Between LEO and Lagrange Points </li></ul><ul><li>Dual Function: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Propellant Storage (And Perhaps Processing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Propellant Transfer, Both Ways </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possibly Nuclear Powered </li></ul><ul><li>At Least Four: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One At LEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One At Lagrange Point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One In Transit From L? To LEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One In Transit From LEO To L? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Propellant Source Function Of Relative Cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If Lunar (Or Asteroidal) Propellants Can Be Delivered To LEO Cheaply, No More Need For Earth Supply </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Three Business Models <ul><li>NASA Cost-Plus Contract </li></ul><ul><li>Public Utility (Comsat Model) </li></ul><ul><li>Private Model (Existing Comsat Industry) </li></ul>
  • 10. NASA Cost-Plus Contract <ul><li>Overspecify Initial System </li></ul><ul><li>Cost Estimate Results In Single One </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements Creep To Justify High Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Congressional Interference </li></ul><ul><li>Overruns, Slipped Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Program Completion Just Prior To Obsolescence </li></ul><ul><li>In Other Words, Business As Usual </li></ul>
  • 11. Public Utility (Comsat Model) <ul><li>Develop Specification </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Quasi-Governmental Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>Build/Operate Depots </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Services </li></ul>
  • 12. Private Model (Comsat Industry) <ul><li>Establish Basic Interface Standards (NIST? AIAA?) </li></ul><ul><li>Get Anchor Tenant Contracts From NASA (And Others?) </li></ul><ul><li>Contractors Design/Build Depots In Various Locations </li></ul><ul><li>Operators Provide Propellant Storage/Transfer Services A La Gas Stations </li></ul><ul><li>System Expands To Meet Demand Either Via Additional Depots Or Depot Growth </li></ul>
  • 13. Comsat Industry Model? <ul><li>Perhaps All Three Models Will Be Utilized, Time Phased: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NASA Develops Basic Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishment Of Quasi-Government Corporation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition To Private Industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eventual Result: Robust Space Transportation Infrastructure To Dramatically Decrease In-Space Costs </li></ul>

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