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Oxygen production on Mars: A figure-of-merit approachA new approach is described toward evaluating the overall system performance in space missions; the objective is to demonstrate a new quantitative tool that can effectively synthesize and display the big picture. It considers a large number of individual components and factors that influence the big picture. The approach was found to be valuable in evaluating various options that must be considered in choosing one or more final ones. The application is especially suited to evaluate missions that consider ISRU. The Figure-of-Merit (FoM) can be different for different missions. In fact, it should be different for different priorities. Simple mass at launch, mass at the moment of departure from LEO, the payback time, the mass returned to LEO, the overall life-cycle costs, etc. are possible indicators of the FoM. After mentioning all of these possible definitions, the FoM for various historical missions will be presented. The FoM of a simple Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is next presented. It is shown that the FoM is not only higher for missions employing ISRU, but that even among ISRU missions, several mundane propellant combinations are more desirable than the highest-performance propellants.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Preiss, Bruce
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Pan, Tom
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Ramohalli, Kumar
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Resources of Near-Earth Space: Abstracts
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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