- Conference date: Jan 1998
- Location: Albuquerque,New Mexico (USA)
If funding is available, and for NASA planning purposes, the Human Mars Mission (HMM) is baselined to take place during the 2011 and 2013/2014 Mars opportunities. Two cargo flights will leave for Mars during the first opportunity, one to Mars orbit and the second to the surface, in preparation for the crew during the following opportunity. Each trans-Mars injection (TMI) stack will consist of a cargo/payload portion (currently coming in at between 65 and 78 mt) and a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) stage (currently coming in at between 69 and 77 mt loaded with propellant) for performing the departure ΔVs to get on to the appropriate Mars trajectories. Three 66,700 N thrust NTP engines comprise the TMI stage for each stack and perform a ΔV ranging from 3580 to 3890 m/s as required by the trajectory (with gravity losses and various performance margins added to this for the total TMI ΔV performed). This paper will discuss the current application of this NTP stage to a Human Mars mission, and project what implications a nuclear trans-Earth injection (TEI) stage as well as a bi-modal NTP stage could mean to a human visit to Mars.
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