Mars Via the Moon—A Robust Lunar Resources-Based Architecture

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by Ed Repic, Lunar and Planetary Systems, Downey, United States,
Wally McClure, Lunar and Planetary Systems, Downey, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III

Abstract: A space operations architecture is outlined that uses lunar materials to cost-effectively support Lunar and Mars exploration and operations. This architecture uses a chemically powered Space Transfer Vehicle which is staged from Earth through Lunar Orbit to Mars to support the establishment of a permanent Mars base. Lunar operations are used to obtain and refine indigenous resources to power the Mars transportation vehicles, and to support recurring operations of the Lunar transportation vehicles. The primary determinants for the cost-effective use of Lunar resources within the architectures are found to be a) the cost of transportation from the Earth's surface to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and thence to the Moon, and b) the development and installation cost of emplacing the required facilities on the Lunar surface.

Subject Headings: Architecture | Lunar materials | Moon | Mars | Space exploration | Vehicles | Orbits |

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