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NASA publishes 40 years of lunar lander concepts

NASA Altair Lander Design Analysis Cycle-2. Credit: NASA.

NASA has published an e-book titled After LM – NASA Lunar Lander Concepts Beyond Apollo that traces 40 years of lunar lander concepts after the Apollo program.

NASA Glenn Research Center Team Lunar Lander Design
NASA Glenn Research Center
Team Lunar Lander Design.
Credit: NASA

NASA describes the book as follows: “After LM – NASA Lunar Lander Concepts Beyond Apollo tells the story of physics, technology, and the desire to return humans to the lunar surface through technical descriptions, imagery and subsystem mass breakouts of more than 100 lunar lander concepts created by NASA and its contractors since the Apollo program.”

“The concepts are grouped by the human exploration timelines that defined the post-Apollo period, starting post-Apollo and continuing through the Space Exploration Initiative and the Vision for Space Exploration, and concluding with the many lander designs created to support NASA’s Constellation program. Readers will see the common ‘trades’ that are explored in crewed landing systems, including propellant types, pressurized volumes, structural mass fractions, mass margins, crew size, and special accommodations for ergonomics and other human factors.”

“Author John Connolly has spent 33 years at NASA, primarily leading development of lunar surface systems, including landers. ‘I think this compilation illustrates how, when a crewed lunar lander is stripped down to its most basic functions, its form ultimately responds to fundamental physics and human factors,’ Connolly said. ‘With a nod to science fiction, of course.'”

Book review

Jeff Foust of the The Space Review this past week reviewed the book saying “After LM is a fascinating examination of lunar lander concepts, particularly those with a technical bent; the book provides detailed tables of mass breakdowns and other characteristics of the lander concepts. Its abrupt ending, though, as NASA is refining the Altair lander design, is a reminder that novel ideas and sound engineering are alone insufficient to build lunar landers: political will, and funding, is also required.”

The book is currently available as PDF download which you can import to e-readers like Kindle. A print version may be available to purchase from NASA at some point.

After LM - NASA Lunar Lander Concepts Beyond Apollo
After LM – NASA Lunar Lander Concepts Beyond Apollo cover. Credit: NASA

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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