Putting the Propellant in the Fuel Tank

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M. Vidmar et al. (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.100-111

Refcode: 2018.71.100
Keywords: Space Access Architecture; Gateway Earth; Geostationary Space Station; In-orbit Servicing

/gateway.earth@gmail.com Gateway Earth Development Group is an initiative proposing new modular space access architecture, centred on operating a combined research space station and commercial space hotel in the geostationary orbit (GEO) – the Gateway Earth complex. At this location, robotic and crewed interplanetary spacecraft could be assembled, and docked before they travel to, and return from, any Solar System destination. Moreover, it is proposed that space tourism would provide a significant part of the funding to build and maintain the complex. In order to do so, various elements of this architecture, which are currently being developed independently by a range of different space firms and agencies, both internationally and in the UK, need to be integrated into a single mission proposal. Hence, it is our aim at GEDG to synthesize all these disparate actors and activities, and focus them on making the Gateway Earth concept possible in the mid-term future. This paper provides a status update on these projects’ progress to date and focuses on the next steps required to ensure this concept becomes an accepted architecture for space access and exploration. The aim is to establish the Gateway Earth approach as a preferred technically-feasible and politically and financially realistic concept and thereby enable a new generation of affordable space exploration missions, backed by revenues generated from commercial space activities.

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