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Plasma Assisted ISRU at MarsNASA's exploration goals for Mars and Beyond will require new power systems and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) technologies. Regenerative aerobraking may offer a revolutionary approach for in situ power generation and oxygen harvesting during these exploration missions. In theory, power and oxygen can be collected during aerobraking and stored for later use in orbit or on the planet. This technology would capture energy and oxygen from the plasma field that occurs naturally during hypersonic entry using well understood principles of magnetohydrodynamics and oxygen filtration. This innovative approach generates resources upon arrival at the operational site, and thus greatly differs from the traditional approach of taking everything you need with you from Earth. Fundamental analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and some testing of experimental hardware have established the basic feasibility of generating power during a Mars entry. Oxygen filtration at conditions consistent with spacecraft entry parameters at Mars has been studied to a lesser extent. Other uses of the MHD power are presented. This paper illustrates how some features of regenerative aerobraking may be applied to support human and robotic missions at Mars.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Moses, Robert W. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Kuhl, Christopher A. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Templeton, Justin D. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
15th International Conference on MHD Energy Conversion(Moscow)
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 23-090-20-15
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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