Main Engine Cut Off

Modular vs. Single-Launch Architecture

I haven’t said much about NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway and Transport architecture yet, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

This bit on the Deep Space Transport from Jason Davis’ post on The Planetary Society’s blog caught my eye:

In NASA’s case, Gerstenmaier said the single-launch approach saves weight, since assembling multiple components requires extra berthing ports and internal hatches. The agency also has the Space Launch System at its disposal, and likely wants to avoid the cost of a multi-mission assembly project.

Gerstenmaier said that after talking about NASA’s plans for the Deep Space Gateway. The Deep Space Gateway is a decade-long project to build an outpost near the Moon, which requires assembling multiple components with extra berthing ports and internal hatches, all riding as secondary payloads on the Space Launch System.

The cognitive dissonance hurts.