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A One Way Trip To Mars
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A One Way Trip To Mars

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  • 1. A One Way Trip to Mars? H. SARPER, Ph.D., P.E. 2/20/2010
  • 2. Some Background
    • The regular or normal trip is the round trip
    • Taking the return fuel along is NOT an option even with the round trip plan.
    • No gas stations on the way ! Not yet..
    • NASA only considers round trip plan.
    • The Mars Society only endorses round trip plan.
    • We must produce return fuel on MARS
  • 3.
    • In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)
    • C ombine CO2 (99% of the Marsian atmosphere) with hydrogen (bring alone) to produce CH4, H2O, and O2. This is the old (> 100 yrs) Sabbatier reaction.
    • How to Produce the Ascent (or RETURN) Fuel?
    •  
    • 1) CO2 + 4H2 ------> CH4 + 2H2O
    • 2) 2H2O ------> 2H2 + O2
    • 3) CH4 + 2O2 ------> CO2 + 2H2O
    • Step 3 is the actual blast-off of the Mars Ascent Vehicle to Earth
    • Return Vehicle waiting in the orbit. We are currently working on a table top demonstration unit of this idea. Many others have done this.
  • 4. ON TO MARS!
    • It will happen, let’s all be a part of it!
    • Perched Above Gusev Crater - This approximate true-color image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a rock outcrop dubbed "Longhorn," and behind it, the sweeping plains of Gusev Crater. On the horizon, the rim of Gusev Crater is clearly visible .
    http://www.mars.tv/
  • 5. James Cameron: Why Go to Mars?
    • Why are we gonna spend billions of dollars to do this? People are always saying we've gotta solve our problems right here on Earth before we go spending money out in space. It makes me puke, frankly.
    • Check back in 500 or 1,000 years and people are still gonna be talking about all the problems that need to be solved. It's a goal-less, rudderless society dedicated to increasing security and creature comforts.
  • 6. There are so many reasons:
    • All eggs in the basket issue
    • Intercept those asteroids
    • Export population, save Earth
    • Stepping stone to other places
    • A solution for the ultimate disaster in the making..
  • 7. Hohmann Trajectory
  • 8. Properties of Transfer Ellipse
    • Perihelion:
    • Aphelion:
    • Semi-major axis:
    • Eccentricity:
  • 9. Venus Fly-By Mission
  • 10. Travel Time
    • Total Mission = 975 days = 2.67 years
  • 11. Venus Fly-By Trajectory Mission Time
    • Hohmann leg: 200 days
    • Venus fly-by: 430 days
    • Wait period: 40 days
    • Total mission time: 670 days = 1.84 years
  • 12. Venus Fly-By Trajectory Consequences
    • Higher  Vs  more fuel  bigger spacecraft
    • More time in zero gravity
    • Radiation
    • Shorter stay at Mars
  • 13. SUCCESSFUL LANDING OF A VEHICLE www.marssociety.org
  • 14. The First Human Outpost on Mars www.marssociety.org
  • 15. Going Back Home ! (WHY?) www.marssociety.org
  • 16. Proponents of the One-Way Idea
    • Paul Davies
      • Physicist and university professor has proposed to use this as a kind of popular culture icon – like a reality TV show
    • James McLane III
      • Ex-NASA engineer McLane calls his plan “The Spirit of the Lone Eagle” and he proposes to send one person only
    • Buzz Aldrin
      • The second man to walk on the moon favors sending the first explorers on one-way trips as a means of building up a presence on Mars
    • James Cameron
      • The film maker and NASA Advisor has come up with a whole Mars architecture based on the idea of a one-way mission
  • 17. How do These Approaches Compare?
    • How are they different?
      • Number of crew members
      • Details of architecture
      • Philosophy of Continued Support (public vs. private)
    • How are they alike?
      • Pre-positioning of assets
      • Use of nuclear power and ISRU
      • Reliance on aerocapture / large aeroshells
      • All would leave crew on Mars until a future mission
  • 18. What is the Advantage of a One Way Trip?
    • Reduced Cost
      • Proponents claim savings of 50 – 80%
      • Cost is seen as major barrier preventing actualization
      • TOTAL COST: Possibly $50 BILLION over 8-10 yrs for round –trip.
    • Reduced Risk
      • Elimination of return elements claimed to reduce risk
      • Risk of failure (crew loss) seen as secondary barrier
  • 19. Assessment: Does it Really Save 50% or More?
    • Assume that IMLEO is the best FOM for cost assessment
    • DRM 3.0 (1998) had approximately 37% of the IMLEO associated with return
    • Additional flights to resupply outpost would cut into that savings
    • Total net savings (depending on time frame assumed) might only be 25 – 30%
    NO
  • 20. Assessment: Does it Really Significantly Reduce Risk?
    • Assume FOM for Risk is Loss of Crew
    • Need to compare two scenarios:
      • Scenario 1 – risk of crew loss on Mars ascent, risk of crew loss on Earth re-entry, additional radiation exposure of return to Earth transit
      • Scenario 2 – risk of crew loss during open ended, long duration stay on Mars surface
    • Conclusion drawn by some (Davies) is that return trip will significantly increase risk of LOC
      • Argument about radiation exposure is weak, unknown mortality rate of two-way vs. one-way with remainder of life on Mars
      • Mars ascent and Earth re-entry phases involve risk to crew… but a risk which is understood and easily mitigated
    Probably not
  • 21. Risk Assessment
    • Highest risk centers around Mars entry, descent and landing (EDL)
    • Driver is mission assumption that architecture elements are delivered to surface in a few discrete packages
      • This drives size and mass of EDL system
      • Issues already arising with MSL aeroshell
    • Recent Mars studies have shown that payloads greater than 2 MT are an issue
      • DRM 3.0 has approx. 60 MT
  • 22. Why Would Anyone Propose This?
    • Barrier to Entry
      • Mars next logical step beyond Apollo in 1972
      • Lots of paper – still no mission
    • Desire is to Move Beyond Plans to Action
      • Proponents want to see humans to Mars in their lifetimes
      • Removing some of the obstacles seem to be the only way
      • Psychological impediment of one way trip not insurmountable
    “ Two-thirds of the Earth are covered with water, the other one-third is covered with launch vehicle studies.” - Bob Sackheim
  • 23. And Now For Something Completely Different
  • 24. Alternative Architecture to Break Down the Barriers
    • Transport All Cargo via Highly Efficient Electric Tugs
      • 1988 Paper – An MPD Thruster Driven Cargo Ferry for Support of the Manned Mars Mission
      • Technology Development over 20 years – a lot has happened!
      • Disruptive Effect on IMLEO – best cost analog
      • Preserves Option for Crew Return
  • 25. Why Hasn’t Anyone Ever Thought of This?
    • ANS> They have…many times.
    Russian – Aelita, 1970’s US – Disney film, 1957 US – JPL Study 1991
  • 26. Where We Were in 1988
  • 27. Significant Developments
  • 28. Significant Developments
  • 29. Implications for Mission Design
    • Hall Thruster performance improves EP mission capability
      • “ Good Enough” Isp, much better Thrust to Power than ion
      • Higher maturity level than MPD thrusters
      • Scalable to good modular size for 500 kWe – 1 MWe class tug
    • For a cargo mission
      • Power level to achieve desired trip time can be reduced
      • Detailed trades to optimize IMLEO, power, Isp required
      • Strong sensitivity to assumed specific mass (kg / kW) of power system (this too has improved!!!)
  • 30. A 1988 Study Framework
    • Excellent overview of mission options
    • Looks at lunar and ISS implications
    • Technology status assessment is dated
  • 31. Summary of 1988 Study
  • 32. IMLEO Comparisons – 1988 Study
  • 33. Why Do We Keep Building Launchers to Lift Propellant?
    • There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, nor perilous to conduct, nor more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things…because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions…
    • - Niccolo Machiavelli
    • Launch a two-pronged attack on the old paradigm
      • Develop better in-space transportation
      • Develop ways to make and store propellants from off-world
  • 34. Mission Architecture
    • Most resembles 1988 Mars Evolution Study, Case Study 4
      • Uses electric tug for all non-crew essential cargo
      • Cargo flies on the opposition opportunity prior to crew
      • Use of lunar and martian resources
      • Use of Phobos as LMO node
    • Update cargo tug design for use of Hall thruster
    • Consider SEP variant of cargo tug for cislunar operations
    • Develop one reactor design for surface power and NEP tug
  • 35. Mission Architecture, continued
    • NEP cargo tug flies directly to Mars
  • 36. Mission Architecture, concluded
    • Piloted flights could take advantage of lunar resources or fly direct to Mars using NTR
  • 37. Concept of Operations
    • Cargo (everything not directly related to crew needs in transit) sent via 1 – 3 electric tugs in advance of crew
    • Crew sent via nuclear thermal rocket to minimize transit time
    • Break up cargo payloads into smaller, more manageable EDL packages (approx. 10 MT, not 60 MT)
    • Autonomously land cargo elements in advance of crew arrival
    • Crew rendezvous with lander in Mars orbit (at Phobos)
  • 38. Comparison of Figures of Merit
    • IMLEO – achieves 30% reduction in IMLEO vs DRM 3.0
    • Risk (LOC) – achieves significant improvement in EDL risks
    • Use of Moon – makes going there mean something
    • Evolutionary / Stepping Stone – each phase can be done independently and still accomplish useful goals
    • International Cooperation – provides meaningful opportunities for cooperation
  • 39. Critical Technology
    • Nuclear power
    • Nuclear thermal rocket (lunar Lox augmented)
    • Scale up of Hall thruster technology
    • ISRU (moon, Phobos, and Martian surface)
    • Propellant transfer and storage
    • Crew habitats and environmental control
    • Surface mobility
  • 40. Technology Roadmap 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 Nuclear Reactor Development Hall Thruster Scale-up to 150 kW Lunar Tug Demonstrator ISRU Technology Development ISRU Lunar Demo Nuclear Reactor Lunar Demo Nuclear Thermal Rocket Development Mars Cargo Tug Integration Propellant Storage & Transfer Development Orbital Propellant Depot Demo
  • 41. Conclusions
    • An approach that builds a permanent human presence on Mars has been presented
    • Kinder, gentler approach allows someone to come home if they want (or if they get voted off)
    • Major hurdle of EDL is addressed
    • Fits with “flexible” exploration scenario
    • Breaks the lock on chemical propulsion and heavy lift as the holy grail – develops a true spacefaring infrastructure
  • 42. Visions of the Future, Still Pat Rawlings Images from: AAS, The NASA Mars Conference, 1986
  • 43. New York Times Says Set the Course for Mars
    • by Freya Jackson — last modified 2010-02-10 17:49
    • February 10, 2010 -- For further information about the Mars society, visit our website at www.marssociety.org
    • In its lead editorial February 9, the New York Times called on the Obama administration to make human missions to Mars the goal of the American human spaceflight program.
    • Commenting on the administration’s new space policy released February 2, the Times said:
    • “ If done right, the president’s strategy could pay off handsomely. If not, it could be the start of a long, slow decline from the nation’s pre-eminent position as a spacefaring power.”
    • Continuing, the Times, then zeroed in on the central defect of the Obama plan:
    • “ We are particularly concerned that the White House  has not identified a clear goal– Mars is our choice – or even a notional deadline for getting there. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Congress need to keep the effort focuses and adequately financed.”
    • After commenting on the pluses and minus of other aspects of the policy, the Times, in language mirrored many of the points made by the Mars Society in its testimony to the Augustine, returned to the central theme:
    • “ The new plan for long-distance space travel also needs clear goals and at least aspirational deadlines, that can help drive technology development and make it clear to the world that the United States is not retiring from space exploration but pushing towards the hardest goal without plausible reach.
    • “ We believe the target should be Mars – the planet most like the Earth and of greatest scientific interest.
    • “ Many experts prefer a flexible path that would have astronauts first travel to intermediate destinations…That makes sense to us so long as the goal of reaching Mars remains at the forefront.”
    • The critical response of the Times, which ordinarily has been strongly supportive of all Obama administration initiatives, underscores  the potential for a broad consensus for a much better goal-driven space policy. The Mars Society will seek to work with all others to try to insure that the new space policy that emerges from the current fluid situation does not settle for yet another decade of random walk spending and stagnation in Low Earth orbit, but rather sets a course that break will the bonds of Earth and take humans to the Red Planet.
    • A complete discussion of the current political situation and potential initiatives for dealing with it will be held at the 13 th international Mars society convention, August 5-8, 2010, Dayton Mariott, Dayton, Ohio. Registration for the conference is now open at www.marssociety.org .
  • 44.
    • For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at www.marssociety.org . Your donations are welcome.
    • This newsletter was sent because you subscribed at the Mars Society web site, or were subscribed as a Mars Society member, or had previously subscribed at the Yahoo Group. You can opt out or change your delivery format in your preferences at http://www.marssociety.org/portal/personalize_form (once you've logged in). This and other news can be found at The Mars Society Web site at http://www.marssociety.org/portal/news .