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This is a report of a work in progress. So far as the author is presently aware, this topic has not been previously addressed. Proprietary work by NASA or others may, however, exist that address similar topics.
This work placed a total 129 tons initial base for both the in-crater and crater rim installations, as well as a 90 tons “marshalling yard” at the Earth-Moon L-1 libration point. For launch services, the results of an in-house Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle study were used. It is called Aquila. This vehicle can deliver over 50 tons to low Earth orbit from the Kennedy Space Center, using a combination of Space Shuttle and Delta IV-Heavy components.
A second stage of the Delta IV-Heavy vehicle was used to deliver 15 tons payloads from Earth orbit to docking at L-1. By so doing, no “new start” systems are needed beyond those of the L-1 station and the LRB itself, provided the Aquila and Crew Exploration Vehicle have been previously developed. At L-1, three of these once-used stages are fitted with landing gear and other elements needed to produce a highly capable Lunar Vehicle and it is refueled from propellants delivered from Earth to place the base and to provide a single visit of a six person crew[/b[ to aid the robotic operations necessary to produce a fully functional base.
A Mars mission departing from L-1 with mass of 686 tons can be placed on the trans-Mars trajectory expending lunar-origin propellants and just one of the Lunar Vehicles, requiring an additional 13 Aquila launches. This will permit dual Mars spacecraft to be used for each mission with a 28% mass margin over a single, similar mass vehicle departing from low Earth orbit.
Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I wouldnt doubt the military could do this. NASA's annual budget was $15.4 billion last time I checked represented less than 1% of the entire federal budget . The best estimates of the US military (Black) budget is $40 billion a year.
[edit on 25-10-2005 by ShadowXIX]
Mission: Department of Defense
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 250,891 pounds
Launched: January 24, 1985 at 2:50:00 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: January 27, 1985 at 4:23:23 p.m. EST
Landing Weight: Classified
Rollout Distance: 7,352 feet
Rollout Time: 50 seconds
Mission Duration: 3 days, 1 hour, 33 minutes, 23 seconds
Orbit Altitude: 220 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Miles Traveled: 1.3 million