Directions: Reevaluating the Lunar Refueling Option
J. D. Beegle and H. L. Beegle
70 Welton Dr., Plymouth, MA 02360
Recent discoveries in the fields of Planetary Science and Astronautics hold exciting promise of potentially further optimizing future voyages from Earth to Mars. The existence of substantial water ice deposits at the Lunar poles, discovered by the Clementine mission and confirmed by the Lunar Prospector mission, in conjunction with the invention of the Belbruno-Miller Transfer, which significantly reduces the DV required to go from the Earth to the Moon, justify a reexamination of the possible merits of refueling in Lunar Orbit in route to Mars. While the investment in infrastructure required in order to make refueling in Lunar Orbit possible would be so substantial that it would be difficult to justify on the basis of a limited number of flights, if a permanent base or colony is to be established on Mars the synergistic advantages of Lunar refueling become more persuasive.