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Trades Between Opposition and Conjunction Class Trajectories for Early Human Missions to MarsCandidate human missions to Mars, including NASA's Design Reference Architecture 5.0, have focused on conjunction-class missions with long crewed durations and minimum energy trajectories to reduce total propellant requirements and total launch mass. However, in order to progressively reduce risk and gain experience in interplanetary mission operations, it may be desirable that initial human missions to Mars, whether to the surface or to Mars orbit, have shorter total crewed durations and minimal stay times at the destination. Opposition-class missions require larger total energy requirements relative to conjunction-class missions but offer the potential for much shorter mission durations, potentially reducing risk and overall systems performance requirements. This paper will present a detailed comparison of conjunction-class and opposition-class human missions to Mars vicinity with a focus on how such missions could be integrated into the initial phases of a Mars exploration campaign. The paper will present the results of a trade study that integrates trajectory/propellant analysis, element design, logistics and sparing analysis, and risk assessment to produce a comprehensive comparison of opposition and conjunction exploration mission constructs. Included in the trade study is an assessment of the risk to the crew and the trade offs between the mission duration and element, logistics, and spares mass. The analysis of the mission trade space was conducted using four simulation and analysis tools developed by NASA. Trajectory analyses for Mars destination missions were conducted using VISITOR (Versatile ImpulSive Interplanetary Trajectory OptimizeR), an in-house tool developed by NASA Langley Research Center. Architecture elements were evaluated using EXploration Architecture Model for IN-space and Earth-to-orbit (EXAMINE), a parametric modeling tool that generates exploration architectures through an integrated systems model. Logistics analysis was conducted using NASA's Human Exploration Logistics Model (HELM), and sparing allocation predictions were generated via the Exploration Maintainability Analysis Tool (EMAT), which is a probabilistic simulation engine that evaluates trades in spacecraft reliability and sparing requirements based on spacecraft system maintainability and reparability.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mattfeld, Bryan
(Binera, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Stromgren, Chel
(Binera, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Shyface, Hilary
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Komar, David R.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Cirillo, William
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Goodliff, Kandyce
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
February 3, 2015
Publication Date
August 4, 2014
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Space 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: August 4, 2014
End Date: August 7, 2014
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 220933.01.04
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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