LunarStation Landing Sequence
Interorbital Systems is completing the development of its LunarStation to provide low-cost commercial access to the Lunar surface. Up to four shared payloads or a single payload can be accommodated, with a maximum payload capacity is 4.4-lbs (2-kg) to the Lunar surface. The soft-landing system relies on airbags to cushion the impact. This method was successfully applied by the Russian Luna 9 lander (in 1966, Luna 9 was the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon). The IOS soft-landing system uses a solid rocket motor to slow the LunarStation before it is jettisoned for an airbag-assisted landing on the Moon. It bounces to a stop on the Lunar surface with its airbag deceleration system, deflates its airbags, opens its petals, and activates its payload(s). On-board features include solar power, communications, and ports for one or more customer payloads (customers can share the on-board power and communication systems). Interorbital's LunarStation can carry payloads to the surface of the Moon for the lowest cost in the world.
Interorbital is working with Ed Belbruno, a world-renowned aerodynamicist and interplanetary trajectory designer, to develop the Lunar mission trajectory parameters. Belbruno, founder and CEO of Innovative Orbital Design, Inc., was recently awarded the prestigious Humboldt Prize honoring his life’s work (to date!) in Mathematics.
The price for a single 4.4-lbs (2.0-kg) commercial LunarStation payload is $2,000,000. Shared payload costs are calculated based on the number of payloads per mission. If you wish to purchase a payload space on LunarStation or if you have any questions, please call 661.965.0771 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IOS NEPTUNE 3 (N3) Moon Rocket
The LunarStation will be launched to the Moon by a modular Interorbital NEPTUNE 3 Four-Stage (N3 FS) launch vehicle. Stage 1 is composed of two Common Propulsion Modules. They are attached to the Stage-2 CPM core like strap-ons. Stacked on the Stage-2 CPM core in tandem are Stage 3 and Stage 4 with the LunarStation payload. The fourth stage will provide the final velocity kick required to reach the Moon as well as have the capability to make a small mid-course corrections with its cold-gas steering thrusters. Stage 4 also includes the following hardware: a liquid-propulsion system; a cold-gas ACS system that uses residual propulsion system pressurant gas; a guidance system; a stellar gyroscope (similar to a star tracker) for guiding the spacecraft; a transceiver; a set of antennae; a digital still camera; batteries; solar panels; and a power-management system.
The N3 will be launched from the Pacific Ocean. The launch position is approximately 32.3° Latitude and 120° W Longitude. The launch trajectory will be directly south (as in a polar orbit). The probe will be launched into a direct ascent elliptical orbit that will result in the landing of the LunarStation on the northern hemisphere of the Moon (the exact location has not yet been selected).