9 August 2016 In-space assembly and servicing infrastructures for the Evolvable Space Telescope (EST)
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Abstract
The concept for EST presented in past SPIE forums will benefit significantly from the current efforts of DARPA, NASA and several commercial organizations to develop an in-space infrastructure that will enable on-orbit assembly, servicing, repair and repurposing of space vehicles. Two documents provide particularly relevant discussions: “NASA’s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration” provides a recent (2015) outline of NASA’s thoughts on human deep space exploration and the tools that will enable it, while the “On-Orbit Satellite Servicing Study: Project Report” details a number of the concepts and technologies that must be developed. In this paper we examine the concepts in these and related documents to explore how systems such as EST will shape and support the infrastructure needed by future space vehicles. In so doing, we address previous examples of on-orbit assembly and servicing of space vehicles; the lessons learned from these efforts and the existing systems and facilities available to execute servicing missions; the EST concept for an LUVOIR telescope designed for in-orbit assembly and servicing and the resulting requirements for a servicing vehicle; the use of heavy lift launch vehicles, including the SLS and Exploration Upper Stage to co-manifest other large payloads along with a crewed Orion mission; Deep Space Habitats (DSHs) in cislunar space as a site for assembly and servicing spacecraft vehicles, and a base for Maneuverable Servicing Vehicles; and how space vehicles need to be designed for in-space assembly and servicing (i.e., commonality of parts, systems, modularity, accessibility, and stable maneuverability).
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Charles F. Lillie, Charles F. Lillie, Howard A. MacEwen, Howard A. MacEwen, } "In-space assembly and servicing infrastructures for the Evolvable Space Telescope (EST)", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99041O (9 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233061; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233061
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