A logistic system based on momentum exchange tethers for Earth-Moon cargo transportation

M. Aguzzi, M. Villanti, G. Radice, M. Cartmell, M. Vasile, M.A. Perino

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


The main function of logistic systems is to provide a safe and reliable transportation of crew and cargo (propellant, supplies for crew, different types of consumables, etc.) to and from the Moon. Advanced logistic systems should also offer transportation of in-siru products (such as oxygen and propellant) from Moon to Earth. Moreover logistic systems should support the lunar base needs during its entire life cycle, and allow its growth and expansion providing supply from Earth. This would require a permanent transportation system from the Earth to the Moon and back. The most recent study performed by NASA, (the ESAS study) foresees that crew and cargo should be launched separately. Following this idea, a reliable and low-cost logistic system based on Motorised Momentum Exchange Tethers (MMET) has been studied as a potential candidate for a continuous transportation system in view of a Moon settlement. This paper presents the results of a study performed under ESA and Alcatel-Alenia contract and developed by a multidisciplinary team of aerospace engineers and industrial designers. A general scenario is defined in which the MMET can serve as the main transportation system. A particular container (here called transportation egg) is proposed which interfaces with the MMET and allows efficient stowage of good s and facilities. A detailed study has been conducted for the accommodation of payload and instrumentation inside the egg. Also, filling/emptying procedure and logistics to ease payload extraction on the lunar surface has been addressed. Finally the egg provides protection from external hazards and contamination as well as including the required devices to land safely on the surface of the Moon.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventAIAA 57th International Astronautical Congress - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 2 Oct 20066 Oct 2006


ConferenceAIAA 57th International Astronautical Congress


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