Near earth object fuels (neo-fuels): Discovery, prospecting and use

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The 1992 discovery of a water-ice, near-Earth object (NEO) in the space near Earth is evaluated as a source of rocket fuel and life support materials for Earth orbit use. Nuclear thermal rockets using steam propellant are evaluated and suggested. The space geological formation containing such water-rich NEO's is described. An architecture couples near-Earth object fuels (neo-fuel) extraction with use in Earth orbits. Preliminary mass payback analyses show that space tanker systems fueled from space can return in excess of 100 times their launched mass from the NEO, per trip. Preliminary cost estimates indicate neo-fuel costs at Earth orbit can ... continued below

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Pages: (9 p)

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Zuppero, A.C. & Jacox, M.G. August 25, 1992.

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Description

The 1992 discovery of a water-ice, near-Earth object (NEO) in the space near Earth is evaluated as a source of rocket fuel and life support materials for Earth orbit use. Nuclear thermal rockets using steam propellant are evaluated and suggested. The space geological formation containing such water-rich NEO's is described. An architecture couples near-Earth object fuels (neo-fuel) extraction with use in Earth orbits. Preliminary mass payback analyses show that space tanker systems fueled from space can return in excess of 100 times their launched mass from the NEO, per trip. Preliminary cost estimates indicate neo-fuel costs at Earth orbit can be 3 orders of magnitude below today's cost. A suggested resource verification plan is presented.

Physical Description

Pages: (9 p)

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OSTI; NTIS; GPO Dep.

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  • 43. congress of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Washington, DC (United States), 28 Aug - 5 Sep 1992

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  • Other: DE93005185
  • Report No.: EGG-M-92057
  • Report No.: CONF-9208154--2
  • Grant Number: AC07-76ID01570
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6800248
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1182694

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • August 25, 1992

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 2, 2018, 10:52 p.m.

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  • Aug. 7, 2018, 1:53 p.m.

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Zuppero, A.C. & Jacox, M.G. Near earth object fuels (neo-fuels): Discovery, prospecting and use, article, August 25, 1992; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1182694/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.