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Demonstration of Critical Systems for Propellant Production on Mars for Science and Exploration MissionsA Mars hopper has been proposed as a Mars mobility concept that will also demonstrate and advance in-situ resource utilization. The components needed in a Mars propellant production plant have been developed to various levels of technology maturity, but there is little experience with the systems in a Mars environment. Two systems for the acquisition and compression of the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere were designed, assembled, and tested in a Mars environment chamber. A microchannel sorption pump system was able to raise the pressure from 7 Torr to 450 Torr or from 12 Torr to over 700 Torr in two stages. This data now provides information needed to make additional improvements in the sorption pump technology to increase performance, although a system-level analysis might prove that some amount of pre- or post-compression may be a preferred solution. A mini cryofreezer system was also evaluated as an alternative method for carbon dioxide acquisition and compression. Finally, an electrolysis system was tested and successfully demonstrated start-up operation and thermal stability of all components during long-term operation in the chamber.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Linne, Diane L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Gaier, James R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Zoeckler, Joseph G.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Kolacz, John S.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Wegeng, Robert S.
(Battelle Memorial Inst. Richmond, VA, United States)
Rassat, Scot D.
(Battelle Memorial Inst. Richmond, VA, United States)
Clark, D. Larry
(Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. Denver, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
January 7, 2013
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2013-0587
Meeting Information
51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting(Grapevine, TX)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 295620.01.04.12
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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