Trade Study Analysis of the Janus Moon Lander Vehicle

Omar Vazquez, University of Texas at El Paso


Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Methane (LCH4) has become a propellant combination of interest in the recent years, especially for leading aerospace companies with the sight set on mars such as SpaceX and Blue Origin in their heavy thrust engines (the Raptor and BE-4 respectively) since methane can be more stable than hydrogen, can be stored at more manageable temperatures and can be produced locally, at mars, using in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) [1]. The Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) has developed a 500 lbf throttleable (4:1) thrust chamber (CROME) using the aforementioned propellant combination with the intention of validating the current design and develop a throttleable (4:1) thrust chamber capable of delivering 2000 lbf of thrust (CROMEX). CROMEX will be used as the main engine of the flight vehicle (JANUS) current under development by cSETR, for which its main design requirement is to be able to deliver 130 lbm to the lunar surface. JANUS will also utilize 12X5 lbf reaction control engines, developed in house by cSETR with the same propellant combination of LOX/LCH4, for maneuvering. In addition, JANUS will have a gimbal system, an electronic system capable of operating autonomously the required electronic hardware and for data acquisition and a leg system intended for landing. In this thesis, a trade study comparing properties such as mass and moments of inertia of different design configuration was performed to select the best design option. In addition, an FEA analysis was performed to determine the magnitude of the stresses as well as the natural frequency of the JANUS main lander design once the best design was chosen. Different iterations were performed to manipulate the structure to reduce the stresses and increase the natural frequency. In the FEA analysis loads such as pressure, G forces in the lateral and vertical directions and a modal analysis were performed to analyze the results of interest already mentioned.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Vazquez, Omar, "Trade Study Analysis of the Janus Moon Lander Vehicle" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29324605.