Comparison of Chemical and Nuclear Propulsion for Lunar and Cislunar Transportation Systems
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIV
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Nuclear NERVA solid-core propulsion systems are compared to advanced cryogenic F2H2 and O2H2 chemical propulsion systems for an orbit- to-orbit vehicle operating in the earth-moon space. The orbit-to-orbit vehicle is assumed to use propellants delivered by a reusable earth-to-orbit shuttle EOS. High-velocity-increment missions lunar and geostationary orbit are emphasized. Optimum operating regimes for reusable and expendable chemical and nuclear systems are indicated.
- Economics and Cost Analysis