A feasibility study was recently completed on a hopping transporter concept for locomotion on the moon. Termed a Lunar Pogo because it would operate similarly to a conventional pogo stick, this vehicle would accelerate up an inclined leg, pick up the leg, and then enter ballistic flight over the moon's surface. Upon recontacting the lunar surface, the Lunar Pogo would decelerate down the leg. Propulsion would be provided by expansion of gas against a piston. Operation would be partially conservative because much of the energy expended by the gas during takeoff would be recovered by compressing the gas during landing. Two models of the ballistics and propulsion have been set up to estimate performance. The simplified first-order model illuminates the thermodynamics of ideal operation. The second-order model, which includes realistic effects such as sliding, provides a better approximation to actual performance. In a one-man Lunar Pogo, an astronaut would typically make 15-m (50-ft) leaps at an average speed of 5-8 km (3-5 miles) per hour.
GROUND SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND FACILITIES (SPACE)
Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets; 11; Dec. 197