NASA Logo, External Link
Facebook icon, External Link to NASA STI page on Facebook Twitter icon, External Link to NASA STI on Twitter YouTube icon, External Link to NASA STI Channel on YouTube RSS icon, External Link to New NASA STI RSS Feed AddThis share icon
 

Record Details

Record 1 of 1
Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1
NTRS Full-Text: Click to View  [PDF Size: 17.2 MB]
Author and Affiliation:
Courtright, Z. S.(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States)
Abstract: NASA has been unprecedented in achieving its goals related to space exploration and furthering the understanding of our solar system. In keeping with this trend, NASA's current mission is to land a team of astronauts on Mars and return them safely to Earth. In addition to comprising much of the structure and life support systems that will be brought to Mars for the habitat and vehicle, titanium and aluminum can be found and mined on Mars and may be used when building structures.Where metals are present, there will be a need for welding capabilities. For welds that need to be made quickly and are located far from heavy resistance or solid state welding machinery, there will be a need for basic arc welding. Arc welding has been a major cornerstone of manufacturing throughout the 20th century, and the portability and capability of gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) will be necessary for repair, manufacturing, and survival on Mars. The two primary concerns for welding on Mars are that the Martian atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and the atmospheric pressure is much lower than it is on Earth. The high levels of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere may dissociate and produce oxygen in the arc and therefore increase the risk of oxidation. For simplification, atmospheric pressure will not be taken into account for this experiment. For survival on Mars during this mission, the life support and water filtration systems must be kept operational at all times. In order to ensure that water filtration systems can be repaired in the event of an emergency, it is very important to have the capability to weld. The Orion capsule and Mars lander must also remain operational throughout the duration of the mission to ensure the safe return of the astronauts on the mission to Mars. A better understanding of welding in a Mars environment is important to ensure that repair welds are possible if the Orion capsule/Mars lander or water filtration system is damaged at any point while on the surface of Mars. The Orion capsule is made primarily of AA2219-T87, and the water filtration system is primarily Ti-6Al-4V, so the effect of the Mars environment on welding those materials must be known to reduce potential mission risk. GTAW is a portable process that can weld a versatile group of metals, so it has many potential applications for welding on Mars. Thus, missions to colonize Mars will depend on the capability to weld a strong, leak-tight joint. Metals are also likely to be used in support structures made of a lightweight and durable material. For this reason, it is important to understand the implications of welding in a Mars environment. A comparison of the Martian and terrestrial atmospheres are provided in table 1. Based on the elemental compositions, simulation of the Martian atmosphere can be made using primarily CO2 gas.
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2016
Document ID:
20170005174
(Acquired Jun 09, 2017)
Subject Category: MECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LUNAR AND PLANETARY SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION
Report/Patent Number: M-1422, NASA/TM-2016-218231
Document Type: Technical Report
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL, United States
Description: 28p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS; DURABILITY; GAS TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING; IN SITU RESOURCE UTILIZATION; LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS; MAINTENANCE; MANNED MARS MISSIONS; MANUFACTURING; PORTABLE EQUIPMENT; SPACE ERECTABLE STRUCTURES; SURVIVAL; WATER TREATMENT; MARS ATMOSPHERE; MARS ENVIRONMENT; METALS; PLANETARY BASES; RETURN TO EARTH SPACE FLIGHT; SOLAR SYSTEM; SPACE EXPLORATION
› Back to Top
Find Similar Records
NASA Logo, External Link
NASA Official: Gerald Steeman
Site Curator: STI Program
Last Modified: June 09, 2017
Contact Us