Strategies for affordable human Moon and Mars exploration
Author(s)Wooster, Paul Douglas
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Edward F. Crawley.
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The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration calls for NASA to undertake human exploration of the Moon and Mars. This endeavor must be performed in an affordable manner in order to be successful. This thesis outlines a series of affordability strategies that could be considered as part of the Vision for Space Exploration. Analyses of specific options for affordable human Moon and Mars missions along with integrated exploration campaigns are presented. Significant results for lunar missions include recommendations to employ extended pre-descent loiter for sortie missions to more challenging sites and the use of a single launch approach, as opposed to NASA's current 1.5 launch baseline, for crewed lunar missions. There appears to be significant opportunity for commonality between Moon and Mars exploration systems if appropriate choices are made during system development. Robust Mars missions appear to be achievable with the Earth launch and departure system currently under development by NASA, without the need for investments in advanced propulsion options such as nuclear thermal or electric propulsion. The affordability of the lunar campaign would be enhanced greatly by the use of dedicated cargo flights for lunar outpost deployment, in contrast with NASA's current plan to incrementally deploy an outpost with crewed flights alone.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2007.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Includes bibliographical references (p. 144-147).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.