The Impact of Flight Hardware Scavenging on Space Logistics

The Impact of Flight Hardware Scavenging on Space Logistics

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For a given fixed launch vehicle capacity the logistics payload delivered to the moon may be only roughly 20 percent of the payload delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). This is compounded by the much lower flight frequency to the moon and thus low availability of spares for maintenance. This implies that lunar hardware is much more scarce and more costly per kilogram than ISS and thus there is much more incentive to preserve hardware. The Constellation Lunar Surface System (LSS) program is considering ways of utilizing hardware scavenged from vehicles including the Altair lunar lander. In general, the hardware will have only had a matter of hours of operation yet there may be years of operational life remaining. By scavenging this hardware the program, in effect, is treating vehicle hardware as part of the payload. Flight hardware may provide logistics spares for system maintenance and reduce the overall logistics footprint. This hardware has a wide array of potential applications including expanding the power infrastructure, and exploiting in-situ resources. Scavenging can also be seen as a way of recovering the value of, literally, billions of dollars worth of hardware that would normally be discarded. Scavenging flight hardware adds operational complexity and steps must be taken to augment the crew s capability with robotics, capabilities embedded in flight hardware itself, and external processes. New embedded technologies are needed to make hardware more serviceable and scavengable. Process technologies are needed to extract hardware, evaluate hardware, reconfigure or repair hardware, and reintegrate it into new applications. This paper also illustrates how scavenging can be used to drive down the cost of the overall program by exploiting the intrinsic value of otherwise discarded flight hardware.


Title:The Impact of Flight Hardware Scavenging on Space Logistics
Author: Richard C. Oeftering, Nasa Technical Reports Server (Ntrs)
Publisher:BiblioGov - 2013-07
ISBN-13:

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