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Mars Surface Tunnel Element Concept
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Author and Affiliation:
Rucker, Michelle A.(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States);
Jefferies, Sharon(NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States);
Howe, A. Scott(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States);
Howard, Robert(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States);
Mary, Natalie(Booz-Allen and Hamilton, Inc., Houston, TX, United States);
Watson, Judith(NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States);
Lewis, Ruthan(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Abstract: When the first human visitors on Mars prepare to return to Earth, they will have to comply with stringent planetary protection requirements. Apollo Program experience warns that opening an EVA hatch directly to the surface will bring dust into the ascent vehicle. To prevent inadvertent return of potential Martian contaminants to Earth, careful consideration must be given to the way in which crew ingress their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). For architectures involving more than one surface element-such as an ascent vehicle and a pressurized rover or surface habitat-a retractable tunnel that eliminates extravehicular activity (EVA) ingress is an attractive solution. Beyond addressing the immediate MAV access issue, a reusable tunnel may be useful for other surface applications, such as rover to habitat transfer, once its primary mission is complete. A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) team is studying the optimal balance between surface tunnel functionality, mass, and stowed volume as part of the Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC). The study team began by identifying the minimum set of functional requirements needed for the tunnel to perform its primary mission, as this would presumably be the simplest design, with the lowest mass and volume. This Minimum Functional Tunnel then becomes a baseline against which various tunnel design concepts and potential alternatives can be traded, and aids in assessing the mass penalty of increased functionality. Preliminary analysis indicates that the mass of a single-mission tunnel is about 237 kg, not including mass growth allowance.
Publication Date: Mar 05, 2016
Document ID:
20160001028
(Acquired Jan 22, 2016)
Subject Category: SPACE SCIENCES (GENERAL); SPACECRAFT DESIGN, TESTING AND PERFORMANCE
Report/Patent Number: JSC-CN-35092
Document Type: Conference Paper
Publication Information: (SEE 20150019637; 20150019637; 20160002226)
Meeting Information: IEEE Aerospace Conference; 5-12 Mar. 2016; Big Sky, MT; United States
Meeting Sponsor: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; New York, NY, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Organization Source: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Description: 13p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: MARS SURFACE; EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY; DESIGN ANALYSIS; PLANETARY PROTECTION; INTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY; INGRESS (SPACECRAFT PASSAGEWAY); NASA PROGRAMS; RETRACTABLE EQUIPMENT; HABITATS; FUNCTIONAL DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
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