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Lunar Exploration and Access to Polar Regions (LEAPR)

NASA RASC-AL 2019 Proposal

Theme 3: Gateway-based Human Lunar Surface Access

University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus

Undergraduate Team

March 28, 2019

Project Managers: Wilbert Ruperto-Hernandez and Jorge Vélez

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Oscar Perales, Dr. María Cortés, Dr. Bárbara Calcagno
Advisors: Dr. Lucas Horta (NASA Langley Research Center), Mr. Lucas Saab and Mr.
Nelson Morales (NASA Glenn Research Center)
Team Members:
Gabriel Caro Crespo Kelby D. Palencia Torres
Carlos Catalano Héctor J. Pérez Ortiz
Arianna H. Colón Cesaní Derek Quintana
Kenneth Colón Sofía Rivera Boneta
Esmarline J. De León Peralta Isidro Rivera Cruz
Axel Figueroa Aneudy Rodríguez
Javier Flores Edmarie Rodríguez Marrero
Sebastián Frau Fabiola N. Romero López
Samuel García Pablo Santiago
Gaddiel González Carla D. Troche Vargas
Michael López Kristal E.Ureña
Tabatha A. Maldonado Laury A.Valentín
Elderson Mercado Xiomara Varela
Francisco Moreno David E. Vargas
Giovanni Oliveras Jonathan Vélez
José Otero Andrés M. Zapata
Table of Contents
2.Mission Overview/Architecture
2.1 Timeline
2.2 Mission Logistics
2.3 Orbital Transfer Logistics Burn and Time Period for Moon Injection Window
3. Design Overview
3.1 Summary
3.2 Vehicle Structure
3.3 Landing System
3.4 External Cargo
3.5 Robotic Arm
3.6 Active Thermal Control Systems (ATCS)
4. Life Support
4.2 Airlock System
4.3 Habitat
4.4 Crew Psychological Health
4.5 Waste Management
4.6 Spacesuits
4.7 Surface Mission Planning
5. Power Storage
6. Electrical Systems
7. Propulsion
8. Refueling and Refurbishment
8.1 Storage and Transfer of Cryogenics For Refueling
9. Landing Zones
10. Analysis
10.1 Risk Analysis
10.2 Redundancy
10.3 Structural Analysis
10.4 Orbital Path and Fuel Burn Analysis
11. Budget
12. Conclusions
13. Acknowledgements
14 Appendix
15. Resources

1 Introduction
In recent years, the space industry has seen breakthrough developments in critical technologies
for future endeavors such as the eventual return to the Moon. NASA has developed an initial concept
for the Gateway, a cis-lunar space station that will enable crewed missions to the Moon and Mars
beginning in late 2020s. These ambitions require a wide array of considerations including the human
factor and interaction with the aforementioned infrastructure. This proposal is a submission to theme
#3 of the RASC-AL 2019 competition: Gateway-based Human Lunar Surface Access. The team has
sought to design a reusable lunar lander and mission operations sequence that will facilitate one crewed
mission per year to the lunar surface, focusing on the polar regions. The Lunar Exploration and Access
to Polar Regions spacecraft (LEAPR) is a single stage lander that will transport astronaut crews to
several areas in both lunar poles in which volatiles like water ice can be encountered. This and other
conditions pave the way for a rigorous campaign of exploration that will eventually evolve into In-Situ
Resource Utilization (ISRU) operations - a crucial step for future crewed missions to Mars.
2 Mission Overview/Architecture
2.1 Timeline

Figure 1: Mission Time Line

2.2 Orbital Transfer Logistics Burn and Time Period for Moon Injection (MI) Window
Through use of data from the Transfer to Lunar Libration Orbits (Chapter 3, reference #138)
the given parameters stipulate that reaching the L2 point will take 12.4 days throughout the orbital path
starting from LEO. LEAPR Phase 1 will consider everything associated with the SLS. By using the SLS
Block 1 second phase, it will burn to enter LEO orbit. It will be using all of the fuel from the SLS second
phase to reach part of the velocity change needed by the parameter. The SLS block 1 thruster will be
jettisoned to lower mass when entering LEAPR Phase 2. Phase 2 will use the LEAPR rocket booster to
perform a burn and enter the final orbit around the Earth with the desired parameters in Table 1. Phase
3 consists of the MI transfer to get to L2. This transfer will be using 55.18% of the fuel inside the
LEAPR; the remaining fuel will be
used for Trajectory Correction
Maneuvers along the way, to get to
the Moon and Gateway, and vice

Table 1: Orbital Parameters and LEAPR Phases mass

conditions for the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. For the MI window, the flight plan takes into
consideration when the Moon is closest to Earth, which
is during the Full Moon phase. By using the time it will
Table 2: Launch dates. take to reach the Moon from Table 1, the launch time
and window can be extrapolated with the time the Moon will be closest to Earth. In Table 2, the arrival
dates are established for when the Moon is in Full Moon phase from the Kennedy Space Center LC-
39A Launch site. Table 2 shows possible launch dates for the LEAPR.

2.3 Mission Logistics
An understandable and well-thought-out plan is a crucial part of any project. The following
diagram was forged to explain the mission path by steps, which can be found on the appendix.

Figure 2. Mission Logistics. Refer to Figure A-1.

3 Design Overview

Figure 3.

Overview. Refer to Tables A-2 and A-3.

3.1 Design Summary
The current design of the LEAPR lunar lander has evolved
dramatically from the first designs that were previously presented.
Extensive changes have been made to the interior to better fit the necessities
of astronauts, including complex systems and cargo. Major renovations of
interior include: the airlock, crew quarters, and command cabin. The
exterior also introduces improvements in the cargo hold and a redesign of
the robotic arm. The most evolved aspect of the original design is the
landing system. New additions to the design include deployable solar
panels, placement of the RCS, and the ground access ladder. Changes to the
design may occur after final structure analysis.
Figure 4. Lander Layers

3.2 Vehicle Structures
Considering that the lander will be exposed to possible micrometeorite impacts and solar
radiation, LEAPR is to be covered with layers, as shown in Figure 4, to protect against such effects. As
seen in the aforementioned image, most of the walls are actually empty space, thus lowering the total
weight. By considering all layers that build the walls (view Table A-4 on the Appendix), the dry mass
estimate becomes nearly 16,565 kg. When taking the other components into account (landing legs,
robotic arm and others), the total dry mass of the lander becomes 21,953.23 kg.

3.3 LEAPR Landing System

The LEAPR Landing Legs have been dramatically evolving
throughout the entire project. The original design relied on springs to absorb
impact, but after careful analysis it was determined that metal bellows would be a
better option. They were chosen due to the safety provided in case of landing
failures, even though the lander’s propulsion stage will gradually propel the lander
directly on to the lunar surface. The proposed shock-absorption system consists of
4 redeployable triple bar systems where crossbar joints will allow upward
movement while the main center bar will dissipate and distribute the energy caused
by the shock upon impact. The landing gear system design concept is based on a
visco-elastic concept as follows: the main bar will have a system of three metal
bellows made from Monel K-500 alloy in series providing stiffness while a visco-
elastic material called Sorbothane located at the end of the rod distributes the
Figure 5. Landing energy across the lander. The interior of the footpad will also encase the same
Legs visco-elastic material used for the bellows to further enhance energy absorption
cross sections
thus providing redundancy. The exterior of the legs will be made of Titanium 10Al-2Fe-3V, which has
good mechanical performance at extreme temperatures. This makes the system very dynamic and
capable of absorbing impact from a high altitude.
3.4 External Cargo
In order to meet the 500 and 100 kg cargo requirement, LEAPR takes an innovative approach
to cargo transportation. The lunar lander will have a maximum capacity of 10 cargo containers placed
in the inner edge of the space between the crew quarters and the propulsion system. Each container has
a storage capacity of 0.4174𝑚3 , for a combined capacity of 4.174 𝑚3 , and will provide protection from
micrometeorites and radiation. These containers will be used to transport scientific equipment, as well
as samples retrieved from the lunar surface. Taking into consideration that 500 kg of lunar regolith
consists in a total of 0.33𝑚3 , 10 cargo containers meet and exceed the cargo capacity requirements. To
facilitate the cargo containers’ movement, each is placed upon a rail system with a nylon fiber bedding
to retain lunar dust and such particles. There is also an area provided for attaching a lunar rover next to
the cargo container rail system. In addition, there is internal cargo compartments for less critical items.
3.5 Robotic Arm
The robotic arm situated at the side of the LEAPR’s upper stages has been
redesigned to include more features. It will primarily be made of titanium, which
has a high strength-to-weight ratio, enabling it to lift roughly 887 N. The arm
design consists of an upper arm section and a forearm section; the latter having a
telescopic design which consists of three retractable segments. When fully
extended, the robotic arm has a total length of 12.9 m, with the retractable
portion of the arm measuring up to 8.8 m, making it fully capable of reaching Figure 6. Robotic Arm
the lunar surface.
3.6 Active Thermal Control Systems (ATCS)
The thermal systems are composed of two main parts. First, the
passive system which is composed of the Kevlar and Nextel that functions as thermal insulation for the
lander, in addition to the Polyethylene. Then the other part, the ACTS, is based on a refrigeration cycle.
Water loops will prevent local overheating in components such as computers, batteries, and engine
thrusters by rechanneling the thermal energy to a PCM heat exchanger. The heat transfer fluid will be
a phase-changing material (paraffin wax) as it has the ability to store thermal energy if it were needed
for later. Then, excess heat, such as that faced at the lunar surface or in direct solar radiation, can be

rejected through the radiators with its Polyglycol/water mix; they have a lid-like mechanism that opens
when activated.
4 Life Support
The objective of the LEAPR Life Support team is to attend basic human needs and
countermeasure possible life threats by providing systems that assure the safety of the crew members.
During the second phase, the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), habitation
systems, crew psychological health, food, waste management, and spacesuits were updated.
The ECLSS system provides the necessary conditions to maintain habitable environmental
conditions, sustain life, and promote workability until mission completion. A non-regenerative-open-
loop ECLSS configuration (see Figure 7), which is a simple configuration to supply the mission with
resources linearly dependent on the flight time, was originally chosen. Due to this configuration being
the most cost effective in comparison with other subsystems, the ECLSS is the only system that was
not modified for this proposal.
Figure 7. LEAPR ECLSS Conditions and System

4.2 Airlock System

A detailed design of the airlock system was developed to replace
the original system proposed. Now, LEAPR counts with a smaller airlock
system of 2.05 m in diameter and 3.00 m in length. As an innovation, this
system has dielectric magnetic plates constituted of indium tin oxide and
copper on polyimide. The dielectric magnetic plates can remove
approximately 95% of the moon dust particles. The non-charged particles
(5% of moon dust) can be removed with a nylon ring as wide as the diameter
of the Airlock System. As the astronauts pass through this ring, the rest of Figure 8. Airlock System
the moon dust particles are removed from their spacesuits. The Control Panel
of the dielectric film and the Atmosphere Revitalization and Pressure Control (ARPC) are on top of the
inside Airlock System, and the hatches of the ARPC are on the bottom.
4.3 Habitat
The initial LEAPR design lacked key ergonomic features such as: a waste
disposal area with privacy for the crew and a comfortable bedding area. Therefore, a
small compartment was added to allow privacy for biological waste disposal and
sleeping quarters were relocated to the piloting cabin by using reclinable chairs. These
chairs were designed to meet the NASA spacecraft seat parameters.

4.4 Crew Psychological Health Figure 9: Chair Design with LED lights
The mental health of the crewmembers is vital for mission success. A system of light-emitting
diode (LED) lights was implemented to regulate the circadian rhythm of the crew. If an extreme case is
presented, there is an aid kit which contains sleeping pills that can be administered to the affected

4.5 Waste Management and Food Supply
LEAPR did not count with a waste management system of low-energy
consumption nor minimal area. It was decided to design a 30x30x30cm box with a 10.00
kg capability and a leak-resistant double lid as the main component of the Waste
Management System. Biological waste, small objects, and food residue would be put in
small bags that would later be deposited inside the box. The same box design was
implemented for food storage. Figure 10. Box Design

4.6 Spacesuits Figure 11. Spacesuits Layers

The LEAPR spacesuits constitute of 10 layers that protect
the crew from external conditions while providing them
with mobility. The department of defense has developed a
paint cover for helicopter rotors that makes them sand
proof. NASA has developed a coating that is preferable to
the DoD coating. The formulation by the Goddard Space
Flight center is called lotus, a lightweight coating that also
prevent variety of particles specifically of dust. Following
requirements, the spacesuit materials are categorized in the
subsequent layers in Figure 11.
4.7 Surface Mission Planning
The mission planning chart provides
a general schedule. The project as a whole will
last 15 years; each year having a specific
mission to be completed. Geological
sampling, technical simulation, fixing LEAPR
or Gateway components, amongst other
activities, could be accomplished. Depending
on the daily mission planning or astronaut
quantity, the activities mentioned could vary.
5 Power Storage
Power generation relies on Table 3: Surface Activity
photovoltaic cells (Triple-junction GaAs Solar Cell 3GA-2-32% byScheduleShanghai YIM of Space Power-
Sources) which will be arranged in four ultra flex solar panels, each one with eight divisions where one
division has an area of 5.46 x 10⁶ mm². With this new design, they can be adjusted to different angles
to provide maximum efficiency. At certain times, the panels must be facing perpendicular to the Sun
for peak energy recollection; to achieve this, the beta angles formed with the Moon’s orbit will be used
as the reference point. The generated energy can be close or equal to those received in the Moon, as
shown in Table A-5 (refer to appendix). The solar cells can generate up to an estimated 85 kW of power
in this arrangement. To store this energy, EaglePicher Space Cell SLC-1605 Lithium-Ion batteries will
be used and, as backup storage, a Flywheel system will be implemented. To assure that the panels are
facing the Sun while in orbit, a torque is needed to allow the LEAPR to rotate, which will be monitored
by LEAPR’s telemetry system.
6 Electrical System
The Honeywell Vehicle Management Computer (VMC) for aerospace applications is the main
computer for the vehicle; this model has enough processing power for all analytical software needed.
To establish communication to Earth and Gateway, the lander will use Free-Space Laser
Communication and two EnduroSat antennas. Additionally, the lander will store data via a
Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory device (MRAM) by Everspin Technologies. Sensors to be
used include: the GG1320AN Digital Laser Gyroscope, the QA3000 Accelerometer, and the Precision
Barometer and Altimeter (HPB/HPA); all developed by Honeywell.

7 Propulsion
The propulsion system of the LEAPR lunar lander will operate with chemical propulsion to
perform effectively as required and comply with its main objectives. After further analysis, the chemical
engines will work with LOX/LH2 as their propellant, with a ~6:1 ratio since the specific impulse, cost,
and total mass proved to be essential for this type of application. Taking into consideration the
Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, the equation resulted on a total wet mass of 68,553 kg so the propellant
mass resulted was 46,600 kg. The RL-60 engine proves to be vital for this application since it is capable
of producing the thrust required with only one engine which is 289.10kN. This reduces cost and mass
while increasing efficiency. Eight R-4D auxiliary engine thrusters with a equivalent force of 490N each,
designed by Aerojet Rocketdyne, including 12 RCS around the body and cockpit, will be added for the
LEAPR’s Propulsion System, to ensure better mobility for the lander, and as a redundancy for the main
8 Resupply and Refuelling
General resupply of food and other cargo will be delivered via the
Orion spacecraft in between missions. It is assumed that each new crew will
provide maintenance and refurbishment of the lunar lander. The RUM
(Refuelling Utility Mechanism) will serve as the refueling mechanisms of the
lander after every mission. This yearly refueling mission will be performed by
two SEP powered space tugs, one which will be carrying the liquid hydrogen,
LH2, propellant and the other the LOX propellant from LEO to the Gateway.
Once they arrive at the station they will be docked with the lander for fuel
transfer procedures. Figure 12: Refuelling Utility Mechanism
(RUM) and LEAPR docked for fuel transfer.
8.1 Storage and Transfer of Cryogenics For Refuelling
The tanks that will carry LH2 and LOX will be built with several features to maintain the
cryogenic fluids in their liquid phase through the voyage to the Gateway, such as tank fill sensors, a
complete insulation/thermal control system, a transfer liquid method, and a pressurization system. To
make the transfer of cryogenics fluids in low gravity, a Liquid Acquisition Device (LAD) that provides
the management of the fluids will be used. The LAD includes a screen channel capillary LAD that will
retain the liquid of the tank and not the gases, and guide in the fluid transfer. To avoid the change of
phase of the liquid to gas, the cryogenic temperature of each propellant (LH2: -253°C, LOX: -183°C)
should be maintained inside the tank. A comprehensive and appropriate ATC System would include
insulation and a refrigeration cycle cryocooler. Both tanks should have Self-Supporting Multilayers
Insulation (SS-MLI), Spray-On Foam Insulations (SOFI), and Broad Area Cooling (BAC) shield. The
insulation helps to avoid the heat transfer of the radiation coming from outside and to maintain the low
temperatures inside the tanks. The BAC is used in tubes where the fluids will flow to the other tank.
The tubes need to be chilled down to avoid the change of phase and possible occurrence of cavitation
during the fluid transfer. To keep the right temperature in the tanks, the reverse turbo Brayton cycle
cryocooler should be implemented. The ATC system will provide the liquid oxygen a zero boil-off
(ZBO) and will reduce boil-off (RBO) at 60% of the liquid hydrogen. In addition, the pressure in the
tanks and the tubes should be controlled with pressurization using helium for oxygen and autogenous
pressurization for hydrogen with a diffuser placed on the top (or bottom) of the tank. The LAD provides
a pressure difference in the tubes that induces the fluid flow through it. Both tanks should have pressure
sensors and vent valves for safety reasons.
9 Landing Zones
The landing zones from Table A-6 (refer to appendix) are examples for potential sites of
interest. As part of the LEAPR initiative, the lander will be visiting the lunar poles, however, the LEAPR
lunar lander is not limited to the selected landing sites. With the refueling procedures stated before,
LEAPR will have the capability or travelling to other lunar regions.
10 Analysis
10.1 Risk Analysis
A complete analysis of different possible risks for the mission was completed, as shown in the
Risk Matrix (see appendix, Tables A-7.1 and 7.2). These risks were classified by probability of
occurrence and by the effect that they would have if they were to happen. Each risk was taken into
consideration, and includes their mitigation to prevent any amount of damage of materials and/or danger

to the crew. Further analysis for current and remaining risks and their mitigations will be reviewed and
10.2 Redundancy System
The LEAPR now counts on the Vehicle Management Computer (VMC) to work as the
redundant system of the vehicle. A VMC provides processing resources for the lander and consists of
four independent modules that deliver the processing capability for the vehicle and communicates with
its other avionics via redundant Ethernet connections using TTEthernet Network Interface Controllers
and network switches in one physical enclosure.
10.3 Structural Analysis
The structural analysis for the LEAPR lunar lander is currently underway and is focusing on
the landing legs system, since they are the most critical point of the lander structure. The effects of
combined loading on the landing system will be analyzed foreseeing a landing on an inclined surface.
Furthermore, impact energy and the damping energy needed to absorb the impact as it returns back to
the structure will be determined in order to optimize the landing gear design. After arriving at an
adequate landing gear system design, the team will then proceed to conduct a simplified structural
analysis to find the overall stresses, reactions to exterior, and vibrations that may cause any fault in the
10.4 Orbital Path and Fuel Burn Analysis
With the parameters used in Table 1 and Table 2, the window for the Orbital path to take to
arrive to L2 can be determined. This is using SLS Block 1 since its data is available. However, if the
SLS Block 1b or Block 2 could be used, the fuel mass of the LEAPR could be cut down. This could
mean more fuel for the mission and it could last longer without refueling, or the wet mass will lower,
while also lowering the costs. This would be better for the LEAPR launch but, since there is a lack of
information about Block 1b and Block 2, only parameters from Block 1 are used.
11 Budget
For the budget of the mission, the total cost of manufacturing was calculated by adding the
materials’ costs, fuel cost, and SLS and Falcon Heavy launches. The estimated cost of the mission
will be $2.6 billion, which represents 8.02% of the 2019 NASA budget of $21.5 billion. With a
recurring upkeep of approximately $75,000 per mission, the cost should be comfortable enough for
the total mission to be carried out. A detailed analysis of costs is illustrated in the Table A-8 (refer to
12 Conclusion
The LEAPR Team introduces, through this technical proposal, a fully designed and optimized
conceptual model of a reusable lunar lander that meets the requirements established by NASA’s
RASC-AL 2019 competition. Our design and development of the lander along with all its components
were covered and improved in detail to provide complete lander design for the mission. Together, the
LEAPR team designed a combination of several iterations of innovative ideas and technologies for the
completion of one of NASA’s main current goals: a Gateway-based Human Lunar Surface Access.
Some of the innovative and potentially revolutionary ideas presented to achieve this goal are features
such as the implementation of an airlock system, the proposition of a robotic arm and the usage of a
reusable vehicle, the Refuelling Utility Mechanism (RUM), as a main component to transfer
propellant from LEO to the Gateway.
13 Acknoledgements
The team will like to thank Mr. Max Grüeter for letting us use the astronaut CAD model for
dimensional and operational demonstration of our lunar lander concept.

14 Appendix
Figure A-1: Mission Logistics steps.

Table A-2: Design Overview

Table A-3: Main Dimensions

Table A-4: Material Layers

Table A-5: Solar beta angles

Table A-6: Landing Zones Table A-7.1: Risk Matrix

Table A-8: Cost Analysis Table A-7.2: Risk Factors

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