Transit Habitat Design for Mars Exploration
September 17, 2018
Authors: David Smitherman, Tara Polsgrove, Jason Waggoner, Thomas Percy, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Robert Howard, NASA Johnson Space Center.
Abstract: In 2017, refinements were made to NASA’s Mars transportation architecture for human missions that resulted in a need to update the baseline design for the Mars transit habitat. A Transit Habitat Design Refinement study was conducted from January through March of 2018 that resulted in updates to the operational requirements, design, subsystem details, and the overall launch and operational mass estimates. Coordination with the development of the Gateway as the base for refurbishment operations was included, as were current payload launch requirements on the Space Launch System. The most significant change in this refinement was in the launch operations. In previous transportation architecture studies the Mars transit habitat was launched integrated to a hybrid propulsion stage to form a Deep Space Transport, so some functions could be shared across the habitat and propulsion elements. In this refinement, the habitat is launched separately from the propulsion element to accommodate mass growth options for both elements and multiple propulsion system options. This change added functional requirements to the habitat for free-flying operations including attitude control, rendezvous and docking capabilities with the Gateway, and other exploration elements. This paper provides the results from the refinement study with a new baseline for the Mars transit habitat element. The work is intended to generate discussion and feedback from the community at large on NASA’s approach to habitat designs, transportation architectures, and mission planning efforts for the human exploration of Mars.
Full paper availability at:
NASA Technical Report Server: This paper will eventually be available at https://sti.nasa.gov/
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics: https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2018-5143