LOTUS: Standardized ESPA landing system

Chrishma Derewa, Scott Fisher, Amar Vora, Srikanth Raviprasad, Curtis Iwata, Mark A. Seymour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The LOTUS (Lander/Orbiter Trans-Upper Stage) system proposes a low-cost transport vehicle to small bodies such as the Moon, asteroids, and comets using the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring. The ESPA ring was originally developed as a mounting structure to attach and deploy secondary payloads in low Earth orbit whilst having minimal impact on the primary mission. It has been used and flight qualified on Atlas V and Delta IV rockets, with numerous launches since its first flight on STP-1 in 2007. Similar to the original ESPA ring, LOTUS is designed to utilise excess mass capacity in future EELV launches. LOTUS however will feature all of the systems required to make itself into a free-flying spacecraft, including propulsion, power, attitude control, processing, orbit determination, and communications systems. It will provide a standardised, low cost, flexible system capable of addressing various mission needs and requirements. As a transportation system, LOTUS will be capable of delivering multiple small payloads to their desired orbits around the moon and other nearby targets (for example, near-Earth asteroids). It will also feature capabilities to soft-land small vehicles on the surface of these objects. This paper will present the augmented system design for missions using the LOTUS system for near earth asteroid research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication65th International Astronautical Congress 2014, IAC 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOur World Needs Space
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781634399869
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2014
Externally publishedYes
Event65th International Astronautical Congress 2014: Our World Needs Space, IAC 2014 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 29-09-201403-10-2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
ISSN (Print)0074-1795


Conference65th International Astronautical Congress 2014: Our World Needs Space, IAC 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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