Sydney, Oct 24: NASA has recently projected its plan to set up fuel stations in the sky, which would make it possible for astronauts to explore distant destinations.
The space agency has named these stations as ‘Propellant depots’.
These depots will refuel the spacecraft in orbit, before it heads out towards moon, asteroid or eventually Mars, depending on the mission.
At present, the major drawback is that the weight of the fuel limits the size of the spacecraft as the rocket itself carries the fuel needed for the mission.
A meeting is in cue for the next month, where the engineers will meet at NASA headquarters in Washington to discuss how propellant depots could be used to reach farther into space and make possible more ambitious missions using the heavy-lift rocket that NASA is considering to build,
The discussions will be based on a six-month study conducted by NASA on propellant depots, which was completed in July
“This study highlights some interesting benefits of depots, but it is too singularly focused,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted William Gerstenmaier, the associate administrator for NASA’s human exploration and operations directorate, as saying.
“NASA is actively studying depots and how they can be used with other proposed elements to provide the lowest cost, sustainable exploration plan.”Under the plan outlined in the document, the propellant depot would be launched first and then other rockets would carry fuel to the depot before a spacecraft arrived to fill up,” he added.
The total budget needed for the project from 2012 through to 2030 would be US60 billion dollars (A58 billion dollars) to US86 billion dollars. (ANI)