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Solar System Exploration Augmented by In-Situ Resource Utilization: Human Planetary Base Issues for Mercury and SaturnEstablishing a lunar presence and creating an industrial capability on the Moon may lead to important new discoveries for all of human kind. Historical studies of lunar exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and industrialization all point to the vast resources on the Moon and its links to future human and robotic exploration. In references 1 through 9, a broad range of technological innovations are described and analyzed. Figures 1 depicts program planning for future human missions throughout the solar system which included lunar launched nuclear rockets, and future human settlements on the Moon. Figures 2 and 3 present the results for human Mercury missions, including LEO departure masses and round trip Mercury lander masses. Using in-situ resources, the missions become less burdensome to the LEO launch infrastructure. In one example using Mercury derived hydrogen, the LEO mass of the human Mercury missions can be reduced from 2,800 MT to 1,140 MT (Ref. 15). Additional analyses of staging options for human Mercury missions will be presented. Figures 4 shows an option for thermal control for long term in-space cryogenic storage and Figure 5 depicts the potentially deleterious elements emanating from Mercury that must be addressed, respectively. Updated analyses based on the visions presented will be presented. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Human bases at Mercury may have to be resupplied from resources from regolith and water resources in permanently shadowed craters at its northern pole.
Document ID
Document Type
Palaszewski, Bryan A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
June 6, 2017
Publication Date
January 9, 2017
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: SciTech 2017
Location: Grapevine, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: January 9, 2017
End Date: January 13, 2017
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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