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Mars as a Destination in a Capability-Driven FrameworkThis paper describes NASA s current plans for the exploration of Mars by human crews within NASA s Capability-Driven Framework (CDF). The CDF describes an approach for progressively extending human explorers farther into the Solar System for longer periods of time as allowed by developments in technology and spacecraft systems. Within this framework, Mars defines the most challenging objective currently envisioned for human spaceflight. The paper first describes the CDF and potential destinations being considered within this framework. For destinations relevant to the exploration of Mars, this includes both the Martian surface and the two moons of Mars. This is followed by a brief review of our evolving understanding of Mars to provide the context for the specific objectives set for human exploration crews. This includes results from robotic missions and goals set for future Martian exploration by NASA's community-based forum, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) and the MEPAG-sponsored Human Exploration of Mars - Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG). The paper then reviews options available for human crews to reach Mars and return to Earth. This includes a discussion of the rationale used to select from among these options for envisioned Mars exploration missions. The paper then concludes with a description of technological and operational challenges that still face NASA in order to be able to achieve the exploration goals for Mars within the CDF.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hoffman, S. J.
(Science Applications International Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Drake, B. G.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Baker, J. D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Voels, S. A.
(Science Applications International Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2011
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Earth and Space 2012 Conference
Location: Pasadena, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: April 15, 2012
End Date: April 18, 2012
Sponsors: American Society of Civil Engineers
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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