An Exploration Module for the Space Station?

Buzz Aldrin’s previous essay  received mixed reviews here but I do like his recent suggestion. He proposes to use various equipment NASA has around to build one more module, an Exploration Module:
In storage at Marshall Spaceflight Center, and elsewhere around the country are spacecraft components from which we can build a true spaceship, one worthy of the name. I’ve called the Exploration Module, or XM. This vehicle, lifted up to orbit aboard the Space Shuttle in its final missions, would be a true spacecraft that lives only in space. Just like the Lunar Module Eagle that Neil Armstrong and I rode down to the moon’s surface during our Apollo 11 flight. Once docked to the International Space Station, astronaut crews could practice and train for future deep space missions, to encounter asteroids say, or the moons of Mars.

If the XM was shielded and connected with a spacecraft like the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle or some other return-to-Earth craft, once tested at the space station, we could take it out for a spin, say cycling between the Earth and the moon. My concept for a cycling spaceship, now universally called the Aldrin cycler, could be fashioned out of the XM. All we’d need would be a rocket to attach to it, maybe like the Centaur liquid hydrogen upper stage flown many times aboard many different launchers – and managed by Ohio’s Glenn Research Center.

Construct the crew carrying module first, test it at the Station, then add a propulsion module and take it out of LEO. The cost is effectively cut in half as there’s no need to construct the propulsion module until after the XM Module is complete. Makes good sense to me so we can be sure it has no chance of  happening.
Human Space exploration doesn’t seem to be popular at the moment.

0 Responses to “An Exploration Module for the Space Station?”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: