The Case for Mars VI
Program Abstracts and Workshop Outline

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I: Opening Session

 

Welcome to The Case for Mars VI
Tom Meyer
Boulder Center for Science and Policy


 

Keynote Address:
The Heritage and Legacy of the Viking Project

George W. Morgenthaler
Professor, University of Colorado
Retired V.P. Technical Operations, Martin Marietta
and
Walter O. Lowrie
Retired V.P. and Project Manager of the Viking Program, Martin Marietta

July 17, 1996

References
  1. NASA release of July 15, 1996: D. Isbell, Hdqtrs; T. Jones GSFC; D. Ainsworth, JPL; and C. Watson, LRC, Activities Planned to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of First Mars Landing.
  2. Harwood, William, Raise Heaven and Earth, Simon and Schuster, New York, N.Y., 1993.
  3. Martin Marrietta Corp., Viking Mission to Mars, Library of Congress 75-16764, 1975.

 

Introduction to the Workshop
Christopher P. McKay,
NASA Ames Research Center

The main objective of this conference is to demonstrate the feasibility of inaugurating a program of human exploration of Mars at a reasonable cost, and to allow its continuation at a sustainable level of funding.

The Conference Workshop will focus on ways to mount an initial mission to be assembled over an 8-year period for a total cost of $32B (U.S.). Of this, $16B would be the U.S. contribution with an additional $16B being provided by other countries and sources.

Topics will include but are not limited to, the rationale, innovative technologies and strategies, and management and organizational approaches, and international cooperation, and including the following selected topics:

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II: Workshop Plenary 1

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Low Cost Methods for Near-Term Piloted Mars Missions
Robert Zubrin
Pioneer Astronautics

Abstract

This paper discusses the key approaches required to minimize the cost of a human Mars exploration program. It is shown that these include the following; (1) Elimination of on-orbit assembly, (2) Elimination of Earth orbiting and Lunar infrastructure, (3) Use of Conjunction class transfer orbits only, and (4) Extensive use of local resources on Mars for return propellant and consumables starting on the very first mission. "Coherent" mission plans incorporating these principles, such as the Mars Direct and Semi-Direct missions, are contrasted with traditional-type "Incoherent" Opposition class, Earth orbit assembled, terrestrial-fueled mission plans. It is shown that in addition to being an order of magnitude cheaper than the traditional Incoherent approach, the Coherent plans can be implemented much more rapidly, offer an order of magnitude greater mission exploration return, and are much safer as well.


 

A Cost and Risk Analysis of Human Exploration Missions to Mars
Steven C. Merrihew
Stanford University

Abstract

The era of human exploration missions came to an end following the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Recently, however, interest in the human exploration of space has been rekindled. The short-lived Space Exploration Initiative, inaugurated by President Bush on the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in 1989, and joined by an international cooperative agreement with former Soviet President Gorbachev in 1991, signaled a renewed international interest in human exploration missions. The Space Exploration Initiative soon floundered as total cost estimates for U.S. missions to return to the moon and then explore Mars approached $500 billion. An important lesson to learn from the failure of the Space Exploration Initiative is that human exploration mission designs must have rational cost and mission success projections in order to compete for scarce government resources.

The objective of this research has been the development of techniques to estimate the cost and risk of preliminary human exploration mission designs in order to address the fundamental questions, "How much does it cost?" and, "What is its chance of success?". For the first time, this methodology is employed to quantitatively compare alternative Mars exploration mission designs, thereby providing insight into the cost and risk drivers, the sensitivity of the results to model assumptions and finally the total cost and risk values for each mission design. Probabilistic methods are incorporated into the analyses in order to accurately model uncertainty in the available data (risk analysis) and in the model inputs (cost analysis). The risk analysis builds on the techniques of the nuclear power industry (fault trees and event trees), modifying and extending the available tools in order to better incorporate mission design information. Aerospace parametric cost models are similarly modified to enable probabilistic cost modeling. Comparisons with historical values of cost and risk for Apollo and other missions are made in order to build confidence in the results.

The resulting values for mission cost and risk show that with appropriate modifications, human exploration missions to Mars can be designed to achieve reasonable levels of risk and cost. This talk will present several Mars exploration mission design options with costs within $100 billion. These costs can be shared by many international partners.

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III: Resources / Surface Science

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Mars Exploration Program: An Update
Donna Shirley and Roger Bourke
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Abstract

The nature of the NASA Space Science Enterprise Mars Exploration Program is one of rapid evolution and development. This paper will provide an up-to-date report on the content and status as of the program.


 

High-Power Mars Subsurface Radar
David T. Chappell
Center for International Cooperation in Space
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Abstract

Subsurface radar from an orbiting spacecraft can yield complete global exploration of Mars as deep as humans could physically penetrate. Past radar studies of Mars have viewed only the surface, but the development of spaceborne nuclear power supplies allows the design of a high-power ground-penetrating radar system capable of looking through the martian dust. A discussion of science objectives precedes the general design for a radar system capable of mapping the martian subsurface. The presented radar system can operate in multiple modes to probe the martian regolith and ice caps in search of groundwater, ice, and geologic information. Depending on the local properties of the ground materials, subsurface structures up to 1 km to 5.6 km below the surface can be mapped with a resolution of 11 m to 180 m. Radar penetration to these great depths should reveal information about suspected groundwater and ground ice; such information would aid not only exobiology but also resource planning for future human exploration. In addition, spacecraft and subsystem design complete the proposed mission architecture. The described radar probing could act as a purely scientific mission or as an important precursor to human exploration of Mars.


 

Martian Oases? Feasibility of Orbital Thermal Emission Detection
Albert F. C. Haldemann (albert@mola.gps.caltech.edu),
G. Edward Danielson (ged@sol1.gps.caltech.edu),
Bruce C. Murray (bcm@earth1.gps.caltech.edu),
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences,
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125

Martian "oases", if they exist, would be terribly important for the future of Mars exploration. Finding a geothermally or volcanically heated location on Mars would revitalize geophysical and geological thinking about the planet. A small "hotspot" would be a prime site to search for traces of liquid water in the Martian subsurface (hence "oasis"), and therefore also a prime spot to test for near-surface extant life. Such a location would be a prime site for a sampling mission, or even a sample return mission, and potentially also for a later human mission. The general consensus however, is that such oases are highly unlikely on Mars today, and probably do not exist at all. How much investment is worthy of such a high-risk, unlikely return? We argue that the potential long-term importance of such a discovery does merit a significant investment.

How could such oases be detected from Mars orbit? We examine the feasibility of using a high resolution thermal emission detection system with significant on-board processing to survey the planet. We also review how big an oasis would have to be to have been seen by the Viking IRTM, or to be seen by the MGS TES. We propose a system that would have sufficient spatial and energy resolution to essentially close the problem.

Thus, if no oases are detected, then the Martian geophysics community would be provided with a significant upper limit on current geologic activity on the planet, and the mission investment also provides a return in the case of a negative result. Details of this discussion will be provided at the meeting.


 

Logistical Requirements for Mars Extravehicular Activities
Frank J. Crary
University of Colorado

Abstract

The current generation of extravehicular mobility units (EMU; i.e. space suits) requires substantial, logistic support. Their active cooling system consumed roughly 1 kg per hour of water ice, and use several kg of carbon dioxide scrubbers and batteries which are either not reusable or have a limited cycle life. Such a supply requirement would heavily restrict extravehicular activities (EVAs) during a manned Mars mission. Fortunately, a novel EMU design can greatly reduce these requirements. An EMU using a primarily passive cooling system has been previously proposed to reduce EMU mass. In addition, the present paper will show that this design would also dramatically reduce the EMU's water consumption. Requirements of under 0.1 kg per hour are achievable. Due to the limited availability of water on Mars, this cost may still be unacceptable. As an alternative, a different EMU design could replace water sublimation with carbon dioxide sublimation. This be much more easily obtained from in situ resources, but would place restrictions on EVA schedules and performance. Finally, current carbon dioxide scrubbers and batteries can be replaced with existing alternatives which have much longer cycle lives. In all, the supply requirements for EVA operations can be reduce from the current level, over 1 kg per hour, to under 0.1 kg per hour.


 

Ares Explore: A Study of Human Mars Exploration Alternatives Using IN SITU Propellant Production and Current Technology
M.R. Grover, E.H. Odell, S.L. Smith-Brito, R.W. Warwick, and A.P. Bruckner
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
University of Washington
Box 352400
Seattle, WA 98195-2400

Abstract

Ares Explore is a trade study presenting two concepts for a near term, low cost manned mission to Mars. Both mission scenarios include in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to extract water, oxygen, and carbon monoxide from the Martian atmosphere for life support during the surface stay and as propellants for the return trip to Earth. With ISRU, the total masses launched from Earth in both scenarios are sufficiently low that only three Russian Energia heavy-lift vehicles are required. Scenario I is an all-ISRU mission, i.e., it uses in situ propellant for both Mars ascent and trans-Earth injection (TEI), while Scenario II is partially ISRU, in that it uses in situ propellant for Mars ascent only, with TEI accomplished by means of terrestrial propellants. Scenario II utilizes smaller ascent and descent vehicles to transfer the crew from a transfer habitat in low Mars orbit to a Martian surface habitat. Scenario I, in contrast, requires only one habitat for the entire duration, which descends to and ascends from the Martian surface. Both scenarios utilize solar arrays to furnish power during transit to and from Mars. On the surface of Mars, power is supplied by a nuclear reactor in Scenario I and solar arrays in Scenario II. An Environment Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) provides atmosphere revitalization, water recycling, and waste management in the habitats of both scenarios. A pressurized rover in Scenario I allows the crew to travel to a variety of distant locations to conduct surface and atmospheric studies. In Scenario II, a shorter range unpressurized rover is used, similar in design to the ones used in the Apollo Lunar Program. While Scenario I is capable of delivering a larger scientific payload to Mars, Scenario II entails lower risks and may be implemented at lower cost. Either mission scenario can provide the initial infrastructure necessary for the start of long term human exploration of Mars.


 

Major Advances in ISRU Technologies for Low-Cost Mars Missions
Michael Schwarz, Steve Brod, Kumar Ramohalli, Steve Crow
Space Engineering Research Center (SERC)
for Utilization of Local Planetary Resources
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

Abstract

The most promising means for the utilization of indigenous resources on Mars is the splitting of Carbon-Dioxide from the Martian atmosphere into molecular Oxygen and Carbon-Monoxide. The process used for this Oxygen extraction is Solid-Oxide Electrolysis (SOXE), in which Oxygen ions are conducted across the solid electrolyte (Y2O3 doped ZrO2). Extensive experimental research since 1985 at the University of Arizona's Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) has shown that these mechanically simple devices work extremely well in various setups. Despite the success in Oxygen production from Carbon-Dioxide with SOXE, a few problems have kept these devices from becoming actual flight hardware. A major problem was the fragility of the electrolyte material, which was a polycrystalline ceramic and remained frail even though ingenious schemes were used to protect the core. In addition, the electrode application was more like an art than a controllable, predictable process, and left much to be desired. Furthermore the production rates varied widely and raised questions on our understanding of these devices. Since late 1994, however, scientists at SERC have accomplished some major advances in overcoming the above stated problems, thus showing the feasibility of SOXE for an early Mars mission. These advances include improved electrolyte material, electrode application techniques, fundamental understanding, and thermal modeling. In addition, extensive tests at a neutral site (JPL) were run, the results of which were peer-reviewed by industry, academia and government scientists in a two-day committee meeting. The test results showed an improvement in the absolute production rate of a factor of four (4) and a factor of twenty (20) in the specific production rate (i.e. rate/mass).

This paper will briefly outline the (low)cost implications to future Mars missions, both for in-situ science, and sample return.

Acknowledgments:
This research at SERC is funded by NASA, JPL, and the University of Arizona. We wish to thank, respectively, Drs. Murray Hirschbein, Donald Rapp, and Michael Cusanovich.


 

Surplus Weapons-Grade Plutonium - A Resource for Exploring and Terraforming Mars
Anthony C. Muscatello and Michael G. Houts
Los Alamos National Laboratory

With the end of the Cold War, greater than 100 metric tons (MT) of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) have become surplus to defense needs in the United States and Russia (1). The U.S has recently announced that it has 38.2 metric tons of excess WGPu stored at several sites, including 11.9 MT at Rocky Flats, near Boulder, CO (2). At present, the Department of Energy (DOE) is studying options for disposition of surplus WGPu in the U.S. The leading candidates are deep borehole burial, vitrification with high level waste with subsequent geologic disposal, and fabrication of mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) for use in existing or future nuclear reactors for power generation, with geologic disposal of the spent fuel. Russia considers their surplus WGPu as a national resource and intends to use it for power generation. This paper is a proposal for another option, use of the plutonium as a fuel for nuclear reactors for Mars exploration and eventual terraforming.

Very little work has been done on using weapons-grade plutonium as nuclear reactor fuel, but such use presents no serious challenges. On the contrary, WGPu was used in nuclear weapons because it has a much smaller critical mass than highly-enriched uranium, allowing lighter weapons with consequent longer ranges. Similarly, WGPu reactors would also require smaller amounts of fuel to attain a critical mass, making the reactor much lighter overall, with large savings in launch costs. Seventy-five percent burnup of the >100 MT of WGPu would generate about 500 billion kilowatt hours of heat energy, much of which could be converted into electricity. The waste heat would also be useful to a Martian outpost or colony. By comparison, the daily power generation in the United States is about 10 billion kilowatt hours.

Getting the WGPu reactors into space presents a serious problem because the current reliability of rockets is not sufficient to allow public acceptance of launch of such materials, leading to the rejection by DOE of this option for disposal of WGPu. Workers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are developing a gas gun for eventual use to orbit materials by achieving escape velocity at the surface, greatly reducing launch costs and enhancing reliability (3). Insurance that highly radioactive materials would not return to earth in a launch accident could be attained by introducing fail-safe methods of preventing release of the payload unless escape velocity had been attained. In this way, reactor components would be launched on conventional rockets or space shuttles, and reactor fuel rods injected into orbit using the gas gun, with assembly of the reactor in space. A commercial company has been formed recently to scale up the Livermore device (4).

Implementation of this proposal would allow disposition of a serious, expensive problem on earth by removing the WGPu from the planet, and simultaneously provide a very large energy resource for Mars exploration and terraforming.

This presentation will expand this proposal, focusing on the physical and chemical properties of WGPu which make it a suitable power source.

    References
  1. Michael May, 19th Actinide Separations Conference, Monterey, CA, June 13, 1995.
  2. U.S. Department of Energy, "DOE's Openness Initiative and DOE Facts Enclosure," February 8, 1996.
  3. Richard Wolkomir, "Shooting Right for the Stars with One Gargantuan Gas Gun," Smithsonian Magazine, January 1996.
  4. Aviation Week & Space Technology, March 11, 1996, page 17.
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IV: Workshop Plenary 2

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One Way to Mars
George William Herbert
Retro Aerospace
gherbert@crl.com

Abstract

Traditional manned mars missions have suffered severe technical challenges due to the need to provide return capability for the crews at the end of the mission. This negatively affects the initial mass and/or development cost and/or risk, and the time available for the explorers on the surface of Mars. I propose a one way mission using some mars resources as a more valuable goal and describe such a mission. Advantages include simple and robust mission design and much longer effective research times on the surface, hundreds of man-years instead of a few.


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V: Public Policy / Economics

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The Economics of Mars Colonization
Robert Zubrin
Pioneer Astronautics

Abstract

This paper looks to the future and discusses the potential means whereby a Mars colony might sustain itself economically. Methods of self-sufficiency, including those required for the production of a variety of metals, plastics, fabrics, as well as the local production of water, food, habitation space, and power are discussed. Potential methods of producing cash income to pay for imports are also discussed, including the sale of intellectual property, deuterium, precious metals, and local real estate. The possibility of Mars being a key link in a "triangle-trade" including the importation of asteroidal metals to Earth is also examined. Costs of transportation to Mars under various technological assumptions are also examined, and the possibility of privately funded emigration of human colonists to Mars considered in that light. The sum of such colonization prospects for Mars is contrasted to those for the Earth's Moon, and the Near-Earth and Main Belt asteroids. It is concluded that, in contrast to these other destinations, the colonization of Mars may be feasible.


 

Marketing Mars - Winning Public Support and Funding
David T. Cadden
Quinnipiac College

Abstract

Faced with a decline in Federal support, the space program in general and the Mars program in particular must learn to do more with less. The survival of any space program depends upon its ability to win "the hearts and minds" of the public, corporations and Congress. The tools and techniques of marketing must be brought to bear with a systematic focus to meet these ends. Surveying public attitudes, identifying segments of the public that are active supporters, and identifying those segments that require additional education in order to win that support are critical. This paper reports on a nationwide telephone survey of public attitudes toward the space program and peopled Mars missions in particular. It also suggests how practices associated with social cause marketing could be applied to a prolonged campaign to win support to place people on Mars.


 

Building Public Support for the Manned Exploration of Space: Audiences, Strategies, and Attitude Change
Albert A. Harrison and Robert A. Bell
University of California, Davis

Human exploration of space is a large-scale enterprise whose progress depends upon a high level of public support. Drawing on an extensive literature on information campaigns, persuasion, and attitudes, we identify strategies for increasing "grass roots" enthusiasm for the manned exploration of Mars. No single approach will reach all segments of the population. The same persuasive techniques that enthuse and mobilize knowledgeable and informed audiences that are already in favor of the venture are not equally effective when applied to uninformed, uninvolved audiences who have neutral or negative attitudes towards the mission. We discuss the effects of variations in communicator credibility, quality and quantity of the arguments advanced, use of facts and figures, opinionated and vivid language, acknowledgment of opposing views, explicitness of conclusions, and other variables on different audiences. We conclude with discussions of the pivotal role played by opinion leaders, who can help win additional converts for our cause, and means for transforming attitudinal support into activist behaviors that will actually help bring the mission about.


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VI: Education

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Teaching the Martians
Gabriel F. Rshaid de Retes
Lincoln High School - Buenos Aires - Argentina

Abstract

The younger generation will finally be arriving in Mars. Educators have a crucial role in inspiring the future astronauts and generating a positive attitude to space exploration in general and the colonization of Mars in particular.

I am currently working on two educational projects, both related to Mars. With my Chemistry students we are studying the Terraforming of Mars. We have participated in a Web chat on Mars with two NASA scientists on March 22nd and then organized a high school international Web chat to discuss Terraforming. As a part of the 'Building Communities' projects, NASA has generously contacted us with Dr. Jim Bell, an astronomer from Cornell University who will be working with us on this project during the second semester. Our plans for this are studying the evolution of Mars, its parallel with the Earth and finally constructing a simple numerical model of the Martian atmosphere, climate and interactions with the surface in order to use it as a computer test bed for suggested Terraforming solutions. We expect to have our Mars Terraforming Student Project Home Page up by early August or sooner.

The other project that I'm pursuing with my Space&Technology class is the design of an Internet based Interactive Trip to Mars software. In this project, students from all over the world will man a virtual Mission to Mars. Each participating school will receive the mission software and daily email real time updates about the mission. When a problem appears the student astronauts scattered all over the world will confer via email or chat about their decisions that will affect the outcome of the mission. A Web page will reflect and update the mission status for outside participants to join in and email suggestions to the crew.

Internet based educational space projects like the ones outlined above are exciting ways to achieve both objectives and also demonstrate that international cooperation will pave the way to Mars.

The paper will discuss the importance of education in the future colonization of Mars and describe the projects already done and the ones that are being developed for the near future.


 

From Geo.S to Mars: Teaching The Mars Kids
Donald M. Scott
Oklahoma State University / NASA Ames Research Center

Abstract

The first Martians are undoubtedly students in school right now. A good education will be the foundation for their successful missions to Mars. This is even more true if we seek to develop the most efficient and cost-effective human missions.

This paper will describe NASA resources currently available to help teachers prepare the Mars Kids. Resources include the AESP program, the Teacher Resource Center Network, the educational products of the Center For Mars Exploration, and related teacher and student programs.

Since success for Third Millennium students will require new ways of thinking, the paper also describes a model for interdisciplinary learning called the Geo.S Paradigm. This model is derived from the work of author George R. Stewart. If students are to be successful in Mars Exploration and the world of the Third Millennium, they will need to use such a new way of thinking.

Solid education of today's Mars kids will make a solid foundation for successful Mars Exploration.

ONWARD TO MARS!


 

The Synergy Project.....
 An International Mission to Mars
 based on a university/government/industry synergy
Larry Kuznetz
U.C. Berkeley

Given the tools and the chance, grad students can outperform engineers half the time. The other half they'll learn something and well all be better off for it.....

The Synergy Project

The Synergy Project is a foundation for a human mission to Mars. It embodies the concept of synthesis first advanced by NASA's 90 day study. But it adds a very significant layer. A layer of universities and internet users that will lay the initial groundwork. The first step is to devise a mission plan based on key elements. Those elements are then distributed to universities with proven expertise in each element area by NASA and its international partners (ESA, NASDA and Glavcosmos, the Russian Space Agency).

NASA and its partners are responsible for the initial baseline concept in this plan but university teams take it to the next level. The bulk of the Phase A design would be done by graduate students and faculty at university labs and facilities, together with inputs from industry and others via the Internet. The work would evolve stepwise through each academic year by means of feedback reports that cycle back through to a NASA Synergy Office. This office critiques and updates it, then passes it along to NASA's University Affairs Office for redistribution to the University Teams.

The adventure of a lifetime, this project can mobilize research. By being low cost and far-reaching, it could garner congressional support. And lobbying for it becomes easier when each state has a piece of the pie through its university system. The approach could involve millions of people and have as many real world consequences. It could inspire students to pursue careers in math and science who would normally choose otherwise. It could utilize the best talent in the academic community to identify and develop enabling technologies. These technologies would reverberate far beyond the confines of a Mars mission. If the Apollo Project is a yardstick, the spinoff potential would be vast. It would benefit the lives of all of us, into the next century and beyond.

Synergy Program features

NASA Synergy Program Office

University Team Features

To Mars by 2012... a basic course about Mars and Synergy.

Six human beings could be standing on Mars by 2012 given the collective will. An international, cooperative effort involving governments, industry and universities would mount the effort. We possess the technology to do it and it would cost less than people think. Two questions come to mind. How would we do it, and more importantly, why?

This interdisciplinary course will attempt to answer these questions. It is open to graduates and undergraduates, engineers and math and science majors. It is also open to students of the humanities, political sciences and the arts since the subject is relevant to everyone and the technical information will be explained in an understandable way. You will learn the political, spiritual, scientific and economic reasons to go to Mars. You will learn the ethical dilemma of violating a pristine planet. You will learn the roadmap currently being planned--how humans would use native resources to become self-sufficient; how humanity could settle and transform Mars into a second Earth. You will also learn about the spacecraft that will go there, how life support systems work, about spacesuits and habitat design, mining in-situ resources, guidance and navigation, power and propulsion, waste management, communication, robots, artificial gravity, medical concerns and other issues. You will learn about martian history from its early formation, through the billion year window where life could have been possible and into the dead, dry world that exists today. A world that could show us where Earth is heading - unless we heed its lessons. This will be a 5 credit course with a take-home midterm and final. It will meet twice a week with a once a week lab/discussion period. Students will be divided into groups based on a real NASA organization chart. There will be a class project where the groups make presentations based on each Mars mission element. Students will also be asked to contribute 4 hours of their time to the Challenger Memorial at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The Challenger Memorial was built by a previous UCB class after the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and serves as a a teaching tool and space camp for children. You will familiarize yourself with its systems and contribute any skills you might have in its repair and maintenance. Enrollment in this course will be limited to 450 students.

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VII: Workshop Plenary 3

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Reducing the Cost of Earth Launch
Mitchell Burnside Clapp
Pioneer Astronautics

Abstract

Currently, the only options for getting payloads to orbit involve the use of expensive expendable rocket launchers. This is both wasteful and expensive, and frequently involves compromises in safety and reliability. There has been a great deal of effort over the last few years in the area of cheap access to space, and this result will discuss the various concepts and trades involved in reducing the cost to orbit. Included in this discussion will be a survey of advanced expendable systems, reusable launch vehicles, and partially reusable vehicles, such as the EELV program, the DC-X, the X-33 and related concepts, and other options.

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VIII: Mission Stragegy / Spacecraft and Mars Base Technology

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Affordable Space Transportation Strategies for Human Exploration of Mars
Terry R. Mitchell
Chief, Program Plans and Requirements Office
Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

Abstract

The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is NASA's Lead Center for Space Transportation Systems Development. MSFC recently developed an Advanced Space Transportation Plan that contains the strategic architecture to develop revolutionary, affordable space transportation systems that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space. This presentation will describe the plans, strategies and roadmaps to achieve the goal of affordable transportation for human exploration of Mars. Some of the strategies discussed will include: revitalizing the United States lead in high-performance rocket propulsion and earth-to-orbit transportation; enabling low-cost, high-efficiency cargo orbit transfer; and advanced transportation concepts that will enable low-cost human exploration of the moon, Mars and beyond.


 

The Goddard Mission: A Profile
Lisa Conly, Kristopher Larsen1, Tim Peterson, Bryan Richter
University of Colorado, Boulder

The Goddard project is the product of a cross-disciplinary collaboration of students at the University of Colorado. It's intent is to design, and give an overview of, a mission which realizes the conference's goals: an initial mission developed over an eight year period for under $32 billion. In order to achieve these goals, we utilize:
Existing launch vehicles;
Low energy trajectories;
In situ resource utilization,
Obtaining life support necessities from Mars, and
Fuel for the return voyage from Phobos.

We will describe our mission architecture, our ideas to maximize scientific and cultural gain, and provide a rough cost estimate in order to demonstrate feasibility.
____
(1) Goddard Project Leader


 

A Dynamic Mars Expedition Mission Simulation
Madhu Thangavelu
Institute of Aerospace System Architectures and Technology
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1191

Abstract

The prevailing global political climate permits the use of surplus super power defense assets for civilian uses. The thawing of the cold war and consequent reduction of strategic force arsenal among traditional rivals allow the use of military submarines as an ideal platform for simulation of long duration manned space missions. A manned Mars expedition simulation experiment could be an ideal first candidate mission.

A skeleton, multitasked, Mars expedition crew is launched aboard a specially outfitted and programmed Trident class nuclear submarine that attempts to simulate many of the known human factor parameters on a long duration space mission. An attempt is made to develop a civilian command and control code for the crew. Virtual reality and other stimuli present conditions as might be encountered on a real mission. Zero gravity is not attempted.

At the end of the simulated outbound trip, the crew are disembarked in a remote region of the globe, posing a hostile environment, such as the coast off Northen Alaska or the Antarctic, where they unload, erect and operate a completely sustainable outpost for a duration similar to those recommended in prior studies. High bandwidth satellite communications with a built in Earth-Mars time delay will be provided.

At the end of their stay and prescribed activity at this outpost, the crew are subjected to the experience of a long duration Earth bound mission simulation. Emergency evacuation measures using units of the special tactical armed forces are also placed on full alert during the entire course of this mission.

Activities in extreme conditions, habitability, and human productivity in isolation thus monitored will enhance our understanding of long duration missions. Such a dynamic mission simulation will also help us to ferret out shortcomings and would shed light into the design of several critical "soft" parameters that will have to be dealt within a hard technology environment like that encountered in long duration space missions, where a thorough understanding of human factors as well as the treatment and quality of man-machine interfaces will determine mission success or failure.


 

Reliability Issues for Spacecraft Electronics Design
Ray Perez
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CALTECH

Abstract

In an effort to reduce the cost of Mars missions new approaches for spacecraft electronic system design are being undertaken. Such approaches were implemented in a limited manner in the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft to be launched in November 6, 1996 and are planned for full implementation in the Mars Surveyor Project (MSP98) and follow on missions. These approaches could also be very useful with manned missions, specially since such missions need much higher requirements for the reliability of electronic design. In this paper we present a "hybrid" approach for designing highly reliable spacecraft electronics. The objective consists on integrating electronic design reliability tools such as Failure Mode Effects Analyses, Redundancy Verification Analyses (a new technique), Worst Case Analyses, and Fault Protection into a seamless approach with other well known electronic design and electronic manufacturing tools. Examples of such techniques will be presented as well as some of the main advantages in cost and time resulting from such an implementations.


 

Software Cost Reduction for Mars Missions
Ned Chapin
InfoSci Inc.
NedChapin@aol.com

Given today's technology and mission management practices, software will be an inescapable part of any and all Mars missions. Examples of prominent areas are mission planning, mission hardware realization (from conception to launch), mission execution (from control to data acquisition and return), and mission results. The cost of having and using software comes in three ways, with the second way dominant: initial development, subsequent modification, and consequential risk administration. The software cost experience for space missions has shown a wide range. An analysis of that experience points to guidelines for software cost reduction possibilities for Mars missions.

The basic guidelines to cost reduction involve: a use of established repeatable software technology, a controlled use of innovation, a shift in life cycle emphasis, and a changed reliance on network facilities and practices.

The project guidelines to cost reduction involve: the timing of software role recognition, the coordination of software requirements, the placement of software in the project, the management of the software personnel, the building in of maintainability as one of the top three project objectives, the inclusion of four features in the software, the creation of always current documentation, the use of SQA and JIT in the software work, the use of IV&V and regression testing, and the use of CM for resource and version management.

All of the guidelines have to operate in an international-flavor aerospace environment that involves a number of factors, mostly not unique to software but affecting the cost of software for Mars missions.


 

The Utility of Geothermal Energy on Mars
Martyn J. Fogg: Probability Research Group, c/o 44 Hogarth
Court, Fountain Drive, London SE19 1UY, UK.
mfogg@cix.compulink.co.uk

Abstract

The exploitation of geothermal energy has been absent from previous considerations of providing power for settlements on Mars. The reason for this is the prevailing paradigm that places all of Mars' volcanic activity in the remote past and hence postulates a crust that is frozen to great depths. It is argued in this paper that this view may be true in general, but false in particular. Geological evidence is reviewed that suggests that magmatism may have been active on Mars until recent times and may hence still be ongoing. Thus, the presence of significant, localized, hyperthermal areas cannot be ruled out on the basis of the low mean heat flows predicted by global heat flow models. The possibility of the presence of useful geothermal fields is further strengthened by observations of fluvial outflows that seem to have been associated with certain magmatic extrusions and which therefore hint at favourable groundwater conditions. Such a geothermal energy source would be of great potential economic value, being of use for the generation of electricity and direct heating for industry and habitation. The addition of this energy option to those of solar, wind and nuclear, cannot but enhance the prospects of a martian civilization that must start afresh, without an equivalent to the Earth's stock of fossil fuels.


 

An Inflatable Module For Use On Mars
Willy Z. Sadeh, Jenine E. Abarbanel and Marvin E. Criswell
Center for Engineering Infrastructure and Science in Space (CEISS)
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado

Abstract

Establishment of a human-tended base on Mars depends on the development of a structure that is suitable for the Martian environment. Due to the lack of a breathable atmosphere, any structure on the surface of Mars must contain an artificial atmosphere to support life. The internal pressure is the dominant load and, thus, a Martian structure is a pressure vessel. An inflatable structure made of a thin membrane is the optimum solution for such a pressure vessel. Unique advantages of an inflatable structure include: low mass; small stowage volume; economy of transportation; ability to be fully constructed and tested on Earth and/or the Moon; and quick deployment through controlled pressurization. A generic Martian structure composed of nominally identical inflatable prismoid modules has been proposed. Each module consists of spherical roof and subfloor membranes and prismoidal sidewall membranes connected by a pressurized framing system. The framing system is made up of cylindrical arches and columns spanned by thin webs for stiffness. Total mass of the module membranes amounts to about 173 kg (600 lb). Characteristics of this inflatable structure are presented and discussed.


 

Mars Mission: Couples Only
Mary A. Martz
University of Hawaii

Abstract

Human adaptations to a long term mission will depend on internal and external support. The crew makeup is the hinging factor for a successful mission. A sexually mixed crew of individuals with a common goal may not survive due to various psychological, socialogical and stress related issues. Married or committed couples will offer a profound advantage to this small community. The commitment to a spouse enhances the survivability by providing the support needed. The key belief of "There is someone in my corner to believe in me, support me in my hour of need" alleviates much of the life threatening fears and associated stresses. From Cockpit to Mission Specialist to Scientist; a married crew is the most viable alternative.

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IX: Life on Mars: Past, Present and Terraforming

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Summary of Current Planetary Engineering Proposals
Robert Zubrin
Pioneer Astronautics

Abstract

This paper will present a brief summary of current planetary engineering proposals necessary to get to get Mars to the point where terrestrial biology can be introduced. It will include a discussion of the runaway greenhouse hypothesis, different mechanisms on how to achieve this, and a some estimates on time scales as to when Mars might become "habitable".


 

Formation of Martian Ecosystems: Rationale and Directions For Future Research.
David J. Thomas,
Biological Sciences Department,
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844

Abstract

Although the probability of extant life on Mars is very low, some possibilities still exist. If extant life on Mars does not exist (or possibly even if it does), the managed introduction of life to Mars could theoretically take one of two directions-- ecopoeisis or terraformation. Ecopoeisis on Mars would result in the formation of an anaerobic ecosystem, which may or may not lead to terraformation. Terraformation of Mars would result in an earth-like world with an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. Both processes rely on initial planetary engineering to make conditions favorable for pioneering organisms. Ecosystem structure and function on Mars, research directions, and problems with "black box" views of communities will be discussed.


 

Terraforming Mars: A Review of Current Research
Martyn J. Fogg: Probability Research Group, c/o 44 Hogarth
Court, Fountain Drive, London SE19 1UY, UK
mfogg@cix.compulink.co.uk

Abstract

If humanity is to embark on the permanent settlement of space, consideration of long-term life-support is crucial. The only known life-support system with the desired properties of sustainability and autonomy over the lengthy time scales at issue, is the biosphere of the Earth_or more generally that of a habitable planet. It follows therefore that a long-range goal of space settlement might be to modify barren planets elsewhere such that they can naturally support life. In this paper, various planetary engineering techniques proposed to facilitate the implantation of an anaerobic biota on Mars are reviewed. These include methods of releasing indigenous volatiles, thickening the martian atmosphere and increasing its greenhouse effect. It is concluded that, whilst these techniques appear superficially workable, our planetological models of Mars must be refined by much greater detail before we can really know if Mars can be terraformed with foreseeable technology.


 

Terraforming: An Ethical Perspective
Richard W. Miller,
Department of Independent Studies,
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Traditional approaches to environmental ethics, which appear in the literature in one form or another as: egocentrism, homocentrism and ecocentrism, are by nature geocentric. That is, they are concerned with humans' relationships with nature as manifest in the Earth's biosphere. Terraforming (establishing an environment in which humans can survive on another planet) expands the arena of inquiry beyond the Earth into the solar system. Can any ethic grounded in geocentrism be employed to develop an ethic to govern our relationship with an environment in which no life exists? One immediate question which arises is: "As a sentient life form, capable of altering its environment, is it moral for us to change a non-living world so that life can establish itself and even flourish there? Or, indeed, do we have a moral obligation to do so"?

How we relate to nature depends upon how we perceive nature, that is, the representation of nature that we carry in our consciousness. Our representation of nature will govern the narrative or story through which we develop our values for nature. We may value nature for its recreational character, as a home or dwelling place, as an economic resource, or as a biotic community or life support system. We use these values to develop our environmental ethic or set of rules which governs our behaviour towards nature. People, depending upon their roles, can be categorized as: academics, officials or general public. Each of these groups, because of their own individual narrative develops a discrete set of values which they use as a basis for their ethic which governs their behaviour towards nature.

In this paper, I develop a conceptual ecological model which illustrates the role of ethics in governing human behaviour towards nature. First, I examine the various geocentric narratives for nature: leisure, land, resource and life, and the values and ethical approaches which follow from each of them. I examine how these ethics govern our social and institutional behaviour towards nature through adaptive cycles of action. I then review current ethical thinking about terraforming. Finally, I suggest another narrative, namely: "the garden narrative", from which emerge values of participation and creativity. I show how two additional ethical approaches, restorationism and inventionism, which are based on these values, provide a useful perspective for ethical thinking about terraforming. This garden narrative is applicable for developing a renewed relationship between humans and nature in an ethic for the next millennium, in which we must learn to live in harmony with nature if we are to expand Earth's life into the cosmos. Adaptive cycles of action operate in nested relationships called panarchies, in which each cycle is characterized by population size and period. Examination of this panarchial structure shows that changes to conscious representation, which are required to produce new narratives, are cultural changes which occur on the scale of centuries. If we are to have a cultural perspective which embraces terraforming, we need to start working on it now, even though the technical capability might not be available for some time.

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X: Workshop Reports and Public Program

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The Martian Frontier and the Future
Robert Zubrin, Pioneer Astronautics

Abstract

This talk will discuss why humans need to settle Mars. Working from analogy with Frederick Jackson Turner's classic paper on the role of the American frontier in shaping the American character and the dynamic, optimistic, and progress-oriented nature of American civilization, this talk will consider the role that the challenge of the Martian Frontier will have in continuing the progressive development of human society, both technologically and socially, on an 21st century Earth whose terrestrial frontiers have disappeared.

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XI: Poster Papers

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Discussion of a Mars Mission Tort-Reform, Antitrust, Tax, and Insurance Act of the U.S.A., and United Nations Convention
Robert Michael Beattie Jr.
Attorney and Counsellor at Law

Abstract

Despite the enormous risks and costs, it was once profitable for European companies to sail to the Far East for spices and other rare merchandise. If wealth could similarly be generated today, despite the enormous risks and costs, corporations would be building ships to sail to Mars. Companies are not today building such vessels because they have no incentive to do so. If the worlds industrialized governments agreed internally and in a United Nations Convention to suspend certain tort liabilities, antitrust-competition laws, and provide tax and insurance incentives, then and only then, in concert with industrialized governments, would there be an incentive to form transnational limited-liability companies to build and operate Mars transit and exploration vessels.

This paper provides a brief survey of the types of politically palatable laws which could be adopted by the U.S.A. and the U.N. to encourage the formation of these Mars Mission companies, including brief discussion of wealth versus money in our global economy; necessary tort liability reform; necessary antitrust-competition law reform; and transnational government tax and insurance protection necessary to create a climate favorable for the proposed company.


 

Biology and the Planetary Engineering of Mars
Julian Hiscox
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Introduction

From the perspective of biology, planetary engineering is the ability to alter the environment of a planet so that terrestrial organisms can survive and grow (McKay, 1982). The feasibility of altering planetary environments is clearly demonstrated by mankind's activities on the Earth (Levine, 1991; Fogg, 1995a) and it is increasingly apparent that in the near term future mankind will gain the technological capability to engineer the climate of Mars. Current thought experiments/proposals for the planetary engineering of Mars differ in their methodology, technical requirements, practicality, goals and environmental impact (reviewed and discussed by Fogg, 1995b).

The planetary engineering of Mars may be divided into two distinct mechanistic steps, ecopoiesis followed by terraforming. Ecopoiesis, a term derived by Haynes (1990) which, when applied to Mars, can be viewed as the creation of a self-regulating anaerobic biosphere. On the other hand, terraforming refers to the creation of a human habitable climate (discussed in Fogg 1995b). Whether the creation of such biospheres are possible is not known (Fogg, 1989; Pollack and Sagan, 1993; Fogg, 1995b). However, the majority of these planetary engineering models invoke the use of biological organisms, both during alteration of the planetary environment and in the regulation of the resulting biosphere. This article will briefly review the implications of the current Martian environment and assets for biology and then discuss the relationship between biology and planetary engineering.


 

Prospects for Using CO2/Metal Propellants in Mars Missions
Evgeny Ya. Shafirovich1 and Udo I. Goldshleger1
Institute of Structural Macrokinetics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Chernogolovka, Moscow 142432, Russia
shaf@ism.ac.ru

Abstract

The present paper deals with the concept of a rocket using Martian carbon dioxide as an oxidizer and metals as fuel. Calculated performance characteristics of the rocket and the known data on ignition and combustion of metals in CO2 are analyzed. It has been shown that magnesium is the most actual fuel, beryllium and particularly its hydride are the most promising fuels. Possible design types of the CO2/metal rocket are considered. A sample return mission with visiting several sites on Mars surface is analyzed. It has been shown that such a mission becomes actual if the CO2/metal engine is used.
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(1) Senior Research Scientist