Propulsive and logistical feasibility of alternative future human-robotic Mars exploration architectures
Author(s)Yue, Howard K. (Howard Ka-Ho)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Olivier L. de Weck.
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This thesis extends the work on a shared human and robotic mission to the Martian system presented at the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) 2010 competition by a team of MIT graduate students. Particular attention is paid to the transportation infrastructure and its ability to support the human and robotic mission from a logistics and supply chain standpoint. The original human and robotic mission was analyzed along with several variants including the use of Advanced Chemical Propulsion instead of Nuclear Thermal Rockets and the decomposition of the original mission into several that could, in the spirit of the Flexible Path, form the final steps on the way to a human landing on Mars. Comparison of selected figures of merit, such as the mass required in Low- Earth Orbit, number of sites explored, and crew-exploration days, gives mission designers a means to begin down-selecting mission concepts at this early phase and focus analysis efforts on the most promising concepts. In general, compared to NASA's Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, the human and robotic mission concept requires 16% less mass in Low-Earth Orbit, is less complex, and explores six areas as opposed to a single locale. Further, mission variants, including one that hypothesizes a progression of Mars missions on the Flexible Path, are feasible and offer a flexible and modular way of progressively exploring the Martian system with the ultimate goal of landing humans on the surface of Mars.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-77).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.