Structural design of liquid oxygen/liquid methane robotic lander JANUS

Mariana Chaidez, University of Texas at El Paso


As the attempt to send humans to Mars has gained momentum in the last decade, the need to find alternative propellants that are safer, less toxic, and yields a better performance has become apparent [1]. Liquid methane and oxygen have emerged as a suitable alternative. In addition, the incorporation of liquid methane/liquid oxygen into the propulsion system has demonstrated an increase in engine performance, as well as a reduction in the volume, size and complexity of the propulsion system. In an attempt to further understand the technologies that are possible to develop using liquid oxygen (LO 2) and liquid methane (LCH4), a preliminary design of a robotic lander JANUS is being completed by the Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSTER). The structural design of the vehicle is important because it acts as the skeleton of the vehicle and dictates the maneuverability of the robotic lander. To develop the structure of the robotic lander, six different design vehicle concepts with varying tank configurations were considered. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was completed on each model to optimize each vehicle. Trade studies were completed to choose the best design for JANUS. Upon completion of the trade studies the design for the first prototype of JANUS was initiated in which the tank and thrust modules were designed. This thesis will describe the design process for the structural design of the JANUS. ^

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering|Chemical engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Chaidez, Mariana, "Structural design of liquid oxygen/liquid methane robotic lander JANUS" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10250943.