Design Considerations for a Crewed Mars Ascent Vehicle
- Rucker, Michelle A.
- August 31, 2015.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Exploration architecture studies identified the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) as one of the largest "gear ratio" items in a crewed Mars mission. Because every kilogram of mass ascended from the Martian surface requires seven kilograms or more of ascent propellant, it is desirable for the MAV to be as small and lightweight as possible. Analysis identified four key factors that drive MAV sizing: 1) Number of crew: more crew members require more equipment-and a larger cabin diameter to hold that equipment-with direct implications to structural, thermal, propulsion, and power subsystem mass. 2) Which suit is worn during ascent: Extravehicular Activity (EVA) type suits are physically larger and heavier than Intravehicular Activity (IVA) type suits and because they are less flexible, EVA suits require more elbow-room to maneuver in and out of. An empty EVA suit takes up about as much cabin volume as a crew member. 3) How much time crew spends in the MAV: less than about 12 hours and the MAV can be considered a "taxi" with few provisions for crew comfort. However, if the crew spends more than 12 consecutive hours in the MAV, it begins to look like a Habitat requiring more crew comfort items. 4) How crew get into/out of the MAV: ingress/egress method drives structural mass (for example, EVA hatch vs. pressurized tunnel vs. suit port) as well as consumables mass for lost cabin atmosphere, and has profound impacts on surface element architecture. To minimize MAV cabin mass, the following is recommended: Limit MAV usage to 24 consecutive hours or less; discard EVA suits on the surface and ascend wearing IVA suits; Limit MAV functionality to ascent only, rather than dual-use ascent/habitat functions; and ingress/egress the MAV via a detachable tunnel to another pressurized surface asset.
- Document ID: 20150009500.
Space 2015; 31 Aug. - 2 Sep. 2015; Pasadena, CA; United States.
- No Copyright.
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