advanced concepts

Our cutting edge projects

Masten has a long history of leading the way in new technology development and advanced concepts to support various exploration architectures. Masten is currently developing various Electric Pump (E-Pump) solutions, Flight Alumina Spray Technique (FAST) landing pads, and is involved in multiple plume effects research projects.

Advanced Concepts

e-pumps

 

Masten will deliver more efficient space transportation through development of an extremely power dense Electric Pump (e-pump). The e-pump used a high power motor built for cryogenic environments. Designed for LCH4, LH2, and LOX propellants, the e-pump has no dynamic seals to improve reliability and has a high power density of 15+ kW/kg to improve mission performance. Available for methane, oxygen, and hydrogen.

fast landing pads

 

During Apollo 12, ejecta impacted Surveyor III at ~3,000 m/s. Ejecta from 40 mT Artemis landers projected to circle the moon and cross the Gateway orbit. The Gateway could be impacted by up to 10,000 particles per square meter per crossing. Flight Alumina Spray Technique (FAST) landing pads use a plasma spray derived process to inject feedstock particles into the rocket engine nozzle, downstream of the throat to coat the landing area just prior to landing. This is done by rapidly building up a thermal / wear resistant coating over the regolith to prevent deep cratering effects.

Some benefits of FAST landing pads include the ability to create a landing pad anywhere, to allow vehicles to land near existing surface assets without excessively damaging them, to minimize particles thrown into low lunar orbit which can impact other spacecraft and missions, and to minimize regolith displacement, providing a more representative particle size distribution around the lander which can benefit scientific analysis

plume effects

 

Rocket engine plumes impinge upon the surface as landers touch down, creating craters, kicking debris and dust far away from the landing spot, and impacting the environment and spacecraft on multiple levels.

Masten has been doing plume impingement work since 2011 and in the time since has developed multiple plume test stand mechanisms for evaluating rocket plume effects on lunar regolith simulants in various configurations. Today, Masten continues its work on plume surface interaction with various sized rocket engines and test programs for internal and NASA programs.