new altairW445.JPG

credit NASA / caption: will LDAC-3 look anything like this?

The third Lander Design Analysis Cycle (LDAC) for NASA’s Altair Lunar Lander is expected to finish next month (March). After publishing an Apollo lunar module and Constellation programme Altair LDAC-2 comparison and accompanying Altair development timetable, based on dates from the 28 January Altair conceptual design contract request for proposals documents, NASA has informed me of new dimensions to the lander being designed for a 2020 return to the MoonWhen I say new dimensions I literally mean its measurements in the three dimensons not new features or anything metaphorical

While we based our diagram on this NASA Altair fact sheet the agency has now told Flight that the LDAC-2 dimensions have changed, the vehicle is not 9.9m (32.4ft) tall it is now 9.4m and its width at its footpads is not 14.9m but 13.5m. I don’t have any information on the tanks width, which was 8.8m

The LDAC-3 vehicle has the same dimensions at the moment but NASA says that may change once this design cycle is finished. I am guessing that while the actual vehicle is 9.4m the adaptor may push the lander height within the shroud to its maximum. The baselined 10m diameter biconic shroud has a barrel length of 9.7m but I don’t have a length for the alternate Ogive (bullet shape) shroud