Mars Direct: A Practical Approach for Near-Term Human Mars Missions

6 May 2019
9 h 30 min | 13 h 00 min

Lieu non défini.

anglais

Lecture by Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of both the Mars Society and Pioneer Astronautics, author.

This lecture investigates means for achieving human expeditions to Mars utilizing existing or near-term technology.

The mission plan described here, Mars Direct is accomplished with tandem direct launches of payloads to Mars using the upper stages of the heavy lift booster used to lift the payloads to orbit. No on-orbit assembly of large interplanetary spacecraft is required. In situ-propellant production of CH4/O2 and H2O on the Martian surface is used to reduce return propellant and surface consumable requirements, and thus total mission mass and cost. Chemical combustion powered ground vehicles are employed to afford the surface mission with the high degree of mobility required for an effective exploration program.

Data is presented showing why medium-energy conjunction class trajectories are optimal for piloted missions, and mission analysis is given showing what technologies are optimal for each of the missions primary maneuvers. The optimal crew size and composition for initial piloted Mars missions is presented, along with a proposed surface systems payload manifest. The back-up plans and abort philosophy of the mission plans are described. An end to end point design for the Mars Direct mission using a Saturn V-equivalent launch vehicle is presented and options for further evolution of the point design are discussed. It is concluded that the Mars Direct plans offers a viable option for robust piloted Mars missions employing near-term technology capable of creating a sustained human presence on the Red Planet. Such a mission could be launched within the early 21st Century.

 

A Round Table will follow the lecture


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