Gateway Lunar Habitat Modules as the Basis for a Modular Mars Transit Habitat
March 7, 2020
Authors: David Smitherman, Andrew Schnell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
Abstract: This paper provides a summary of the results from a recent concept study of various configurations for a Mars Transit Habitat. The designs considered are composed of modules based on published contractor concepts proposed for the lunar Gateway through NASA’s NextSTEP program. Using these Gateway concepts as a starting point for the design of a Mars Transit Habitat has potential advantages. Both Gateway and Mars Transit Habitats will have similar requirements for long-term operations in deep space, autonomous and remote operations when the crew is not onboard, and similar requirements for transferring crew to and from a planetary surface — the Moon and Mars respectively. The contractor designs for Gateway were traded against a monolithic transit habitat previously proposed by NASA’s Mars Integration Group. In addition, these concepts were considered for a “shakedown” mission for the transit habitat hardware in cislunar space to build confidence in new systems, including the advanced environmental control and life support systems needed for Mars missions. The results presented include overall vehicle configurations, mass, and volume estimates for the selected design concepts. Two concepts using large expandable modules are identified as leading candidates for a Mars Transit Habitat and the remaining elements are identified as representative of the habitable pressure vessels needed for safe haven configurations, logistics modules, surface habitats, rovers, and descent and ascent crew cabins in the overall Mars Architecture.
Full paper availability at:
NASA Technical Report Server: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20200002332
2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference: https://ieee-aess.org/conference/2020-ieee-aerospace-conference-aeroconf