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Mars Orbit Rendezvous. Robert Dyck. Only land what you need. Mars Direct ERV contains stuff not needed on Mars Food & life support for transit to Earth Earth heat shield & parachute Earth survival gear Leave these in Mars orbit. All inflatable hab.

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Only land what you need
Only land what you need

Mars Direct ERV contains stuff not needed on Mars

  • Food & life support for transit to Earth

  • Earth heat shield & parachute

  • Earth survival gear

    Leave these in Mars orbit

All inflatable hab
All inflatable hab

Inflatable surface habitat, dedicated to Mars

  • no micrometeor shield

  • Gore-tex to keep out fines, let water vapour & CO2 pass

    • prevent ice between outer layer and pressure membrane

  • endure dust storms without damage

  • furniture & systems designed for gravity

  • crew descend in capsule, CEV descent module

  • thermal protection for Mars air

Launch sequence
Launch sequence

MAV & cargo lander, solar-electric propulsion: 2 years

ITV & surface habitat, chemical: 6 months

Year X



ITV & hab

Year X+2

Itv with surface hab
ITV with surface hab

Launch crew vehicle after MAV fuel tanks full

Crew in dedicated Interplanetary Transit Vehicle (ITV)

  • micrometeoroid shield

  • thermal protection dedicated to vacuum

  • zero-G exercise equipment

  • all equipment dedicated to zero-G operation

    Attached lander with surface hab & descent capsule

    Expendable chemical TMI stage

    ITV will be return vehicle, in case of abort crew already in return vehicle with food, life support, zero-G exercise

    Surface hab available as redundant backup


Land with hab, recycling life support, food, spacesuits, open rover

Permafrost as life support backup

Cargo lander has lab, second open rover

Cargo lander confirmed close to MAV before leaving Earth

Rover with hab has pup-tents and extra suit supplies

Lab as backup hab
Lab as backup hab

Lab delivered via cargo lander, waiting beside MAV

Inflatable lab can be used as living space if hab failsno room for both living and lab work

Backup recycling life support systemcould be powered by MAV’s ISPP power plant

Extra supply of food for full duration

Suit operation
Suit Operation

Restrict EVA to ½ hour walk to rover

Extra PLSS on rover for each astronaut

Microwave regenerable CO2 sorbent (Ag2O granuals)

Rebreather backup, LiOH sorbent & aluminum O2 tank

Chest air bladder & one-way valvescirculate air by breathing in case battery failure

Backup O2 released by pressure regulator (no power)

Primary PLSS components field swappable

Primary O2 refillable & battery rechargable

Carry handle, backup PLSS carried while wearing primary

Mav as tei stage
MAV as TEI stage

Unpressurized MAV cabin, ride in suits

Rendezvous & hard-dock with ITV

MAV with in-situ produced propellant as TEI

Aerocapture into earth orbit
Aerocapture into Earth orbit

Aerocapture into Earth orbit, aerobrake down to LEO

Park ITV in LEO for second mission

Recover astronauts by reusable space taxi

CEV descent module as emergency escape pod

Equipment for 2nd mission:

  • TMI stage

  • Lander: surface hab, descent capsule, open rover

  • MAV

  • Cargo lander with Lab if different landing site

Future expansion
Future expansion

ITV designed to accept future advanced propulsion TMI

  • nuclear thermal or nuclear electric, multi-mission reactor

  • NERVA, Timberwind, VASIMR designers can compete

  • refuellable propellant tank, requires LEO fuel supply

    MAV could be replaced by a DC-XA styleMars surface shuttle for descent/ascent

    Requires infrastructure for fuel production

    Fuel tanker to refuel ITV propulsion stageMars or Deimos/Phobos

Artificial gravity
Artificial gravity

Shannon Lucent: 6 months on Mir, walked off Shuttle

Artificial gravity preferred but not necessary

Requires technology to manoeuvre in tethered flight

Demonstration flight: CEV & spent Progress in LEO