In 2004, United States President George Bush announced that American astronauts will be returning to the Moon before the year 2020, and then setting their sights upon the planet Mars. When this was announced, the advanced space technology community was energized. After all, it has been many years since Neil Amrstrong first placed his footprint in the lunar dust. Surely a return to the Moon will use the latest technologies to provide an infrastructure for sustained lunar exploration and operations. Having gone to the Moon in the 1960s with 1940s rocket propulsion technology, one could imagine a 2015 human lunar using solar- and nuclear-thermal rockets, solar-electric- propelled cargo tugs efficiently carrying cargo from low Earth orbit, and piloted vehicles Space Station.


Propulsion System International Space Station Earth Orbit Solar Sail Lunar Orbit 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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