Mars-back Approach to Moon-Mars Exploration System Commonality
Wooster, Paul D.
Crawley, Edward F.
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The Mars-back approach entails the development of a common system for the exploration of Moon and Mars by first looking at the requirements placed upon the system by the Mars exploration case and then projecting the system capabilities back to the Moon. By developing a common system for the exploration of both destinations, overall development cost is decreased and any gap between Moon and Mars is either eliminated or significantly reduced. As elements needed for lunar exploration are a sub-set of those utilized in Mars exploration, lunar exploration directly demonstrates and validates the elements prior to Mars exploration and lunar exploration can continue during the exploration of Mars. Through directly linking lunar exploration to the exploration of Mars, Mars exploration can be significantly accelerated and greater public support can be maintained in order to sustain the Vision for Space Exploration. In designing elements for a common Moon-Mars exploration system, our analysis indicates that through proper upfront systems engineering and appropriate use of platforming and modularity, the performance overheads associated with each particular use case can be kept low while the affordability of the overall system can be significantly improved.