Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition


A previous work by the authors (Architecture Study for a Fuel Depot Supplied from Lunar Resources – AIAA 2016-5306) examined architectures for a fuel depot supplied from lunar ice deposits. The study recommended a fuel depot be located at Earth-Moon L1. The study used three design reference missions in the formulation of candidate architectures – among them a Mars Cargo Vehicle (MCV). Each vehicle used 60 layers of multi-layer insulation (MLI) to minimize the boiloff of cryogenic propellants. Boiloff was shown to not be a driver in architecture selection, but it was noted that reducing the number of layers of MLI from 60 to 30 reduced the MLI mass by almost 4,000 kg, but the predicted boiloff only increased about 2,000 kg. This suggested that further investigation was needed to determine the optimum balance between MLI mass, predicted boiloff, and the mass of propellant needed to compensate for that boiloff. While holding the payload mass constant, this paper uses the Modified Lockheed Model to calculate predicted boiloff, and uses multiple iterations of the classic rocket equation to determine how much propellant will be needed to compensate for boiloff over a 288-day mission to Mars.




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