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a common habitat deep space exploration vehicle for transit and orbital operationsWhen outfitted as a habitat, the SLS Core Stage Liquid Oxygen Tank is a pressure vessel that can be used to support human exploration in deep space. An exploration spacecraft can be constructed with this habitat, known as the Common Habitat, as its central element. More than just a transit vehicle, this spacecraft is a Deep Space Exploration Vehicle – a microgravity science laboratory capable of conducting research with onboard human crews throughout the inner solar system. Supplied with propellant by LEO depots, preliminary trajectory and v estimates indicate that the spacecraft can perform fly-by or orbital missions with trajectories close enough to the sun to intersect the orbit of Mercury or far enough away to fly by the main belt asteroid Vesta. Its primary mission, however, is to support human expeditions to Mars. Many, though not all, of the pressurized and unpressurized elements that compose the Deep Space Exploration Vehicle can also be used in surface base camps on the Moon and Mars. In additional to traditional space science disciplines, the spacecraft offers unique potential for small asteroid retrieval and for artificial gravity research. Three launches are used to deploy the spacecraft, but thirty-nine launches are used to deliver propellant to orbit to fully fuel the spacecraft for deep space missions. Key operations in a Mars crewed mission are described to illustrate how the vehicle is used and forward work is listed to mature the spacecraft concept.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Robert L. Howard Jr.
(Johnson Space Center Houston, Texas, United States)
Date Acquired
August 28, 2021
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
AIAA ASCEND 2021(Online)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 452582.81.72
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert

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NameType A Common Habitat Deep Space Exploration Vehicle for Transit and Orbital Operations.pdf STI