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ANOTHER ORDER OF MAGNITUDE CHEAPER?. Brian Enke Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, CO. (AI, Simulations, Integration, Complexity). THREE GENERATIONS. SEI: $450 billion Mars Direct $40 billion ??? $4 billion or less ???. Is a $4 billion human mission to Mars possible?.

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slide1

ANOTHER ORDER OF

MAGNITUDE CHEAPER?

  • Brian Enke
  • Southwest Research
  • Institute (SwRI),
  • Boulder, CO

(AI, Simulations, Integration, Complexity)

three generations
THREE GENERATIONS...
  • SEI: $450 billion
  • Mars Direct $40 billion
  • ??? $4 billion or less ???
yes but only if we want one at least in sci fi and is 1 billion feasible

Is a $4 billion human

mission to Mars possible?

YES .....(but only if we want one...)(at least, in sci-fi...)(and is $1 billion feasible?)
slide4

Image Credit: NASA

Pop Quiz!!

How much does a Mars mission cost?

  • $1 trillion
  • $450 billion
  • $40-$55 billion
  • $4 billion
slide5

Pop Quiz!!

How much does a Mars mission cost?

Credit: Warner Bros.

Credit: Warner Bros.

  • TRICK QUESTION!
  • COST ALONE IS
  • MEANINGLESS!
slide6

Mars Mission Cost Estimates are Meaningless Without...

  • Investment Timeframe
  • Development vs Ongoing
  • Well-Defined Goals (Capabilities)
  • Risk Tolerance Level
  • COMPLEXITY !!
slide7

Capabilities

Modifiers

Technology

Resources

Innovation

Bureaucracy

COMPLEXITY

(Investment x Risk)

first generation mission plan 90 day report battlestar galactica
First Generation Mission Plan: 90-Day Report(Battlestar Galactica)
  • Highly complex
  • Expensive ($450b over 30 years)
  • Very high risk
  • Low capabilities (30-day surface visit)

scifi.com

Credit: Sci-Fi Channel

second generation mission plan mars direct
Second Generation Mission Plan:Mars Direct
  • Less complexity
  • Cheaper ($40b over 10 years)
  • Less risk
  • Greater capabilities (2-year surface visit)
  • Modifiers: Resources, Innovation

Credit: NASA

slide12

Mars Direct Development Costs

(Hunt and van Pelt, 2003) (billion-dollars)

ESA NASA

Ares Heavy-Lift Vehicle 11 13

Earth-Return Vehicle 4 7

Surface Elements 3

Agency Program Level 7

------------------------- -----------------------

TOTAL: 18/27 26/39

slide13

Mars Direct Ongoing Costs

(Hunt and van Pelt, 2003) (billion-dollars)

ESA NASA

Ares Heavy-Lift Vehicle 2 2

Earth-Return Vehicle .7 1

Surface Elements .7

Agency Program Level .9

------------------------- -----------------------

TOTAL: 3.6/5.2 4.6/7.0

slide14

"We've run the numbers,

the budget numbers, and we

can't afford this plan

-we simply can't-

if we follow the

business-as-usual approach."

- Christopher Shank, Special Assistant

to the NASA Administrator,

Return to the Moon Conference, 2005

third generation mission plan shadows of medusae
Third Generation Mission Plan:Shadows of Medusae?
  • Focus on reducing complexity!!!
  • Low risk, low cost
  • Capabilities??
  • Highly controversial
  • Remember, it's Sci-Fi ! (for now)
slide16

#1: Public/Private

  • Private sponsorship
  • Less bureaucracy, better risk climate
  • NASA involvement limited to research, tech development
  • 90% cheaper?
  • Parallel NASA program can be an insurance policy

Credit: Paul Bourke

slide17

#2: Longer Mission

  • Double the surface mission from two to four years (or more)
  • Hardware rates are halved (or more)
  • Habitat complexity increased, maybe
  • Flag-and-footprint danger?

Credit: Warner Bros.

slide18

#3: One-way Mission

  • No ERV = less risk
  • 50% less investment
  • Goals focused upon settlement
  • Hab, surface-ops more complex
  • All else simpler (no nukes until later)
  • Poor science
slide19

#4: Engineering

  • First mission: tech demonstrator
  • Highly focused, less complex
  • All crew members primarily engineers
  • Send scientists later
  • Tele-robotics
  • Less mobility
slide20

#5: Split Crew

  • Two groups of three or four
  • Smaller habitats – or larger rovers?
  • Redundancy of the most critical asset: the crew
  • Skills mix?
  • Psych issues?
  • RISK definition?

Credit: Paul Bourke

Image Credit: NASA

slide21

#6: Precursor Missions

  • Dumb, cheap, simple supply drops
  • Food, solar panels, water, and seeds
  • Wide landing ellipse
  • Scout for resources (water), conditions (air, radiation)
  • No base integration

Credit: Paul Bourke

slide22

#7: Tele-Robotics

  • Several humanoid robots (Robonauts?)
  • Limited autonomy
  • Less spacesuit wear
  • Less dust in habitat
  • Immersive reality control devices
  • Don't automate what isn't necessary
slide23

#8: No Nukes

  • Nuclear propulsion is complex
  • Use chemical rockets
  • Equatorial landing sites
  • Scaled solar power arrays
  • Surface RTGs are OK
  • Later missions: OK

Credit: David Darling

slide24
Reduced life-science complexity
  • Chemical rockets
  • Single gravity vector, magnitude
  • Hab plumbing and layout less complex
  • Need tethers and deployment system

#9: Artificial Gravity

slide25

#10: Surface Water

  • Assume you can reach it
  • Dangerous, but simple
  • Need a two-year supply for the free-return trajectory (include in cargo!)
  • Better for later or longer missions

Credit: Warner Bros.

slide26

#11: Surface Rendezvous

  • Simpler than orbital rendezvous
  • More supplies available
  • Gravity = familiarity
  • Creative uses for inflatables
  • Requires more fuel for ERV (energy)

Credit: NASA

slide27

#12: Sample Return

  • Keep it simple!!!
  • Sending humans is more cost-effective
  • Back-contamination
  • Dust-return simpler
  • Human mobility and sample selection
  • In-situ measurement is simpler

Credit: Mars Society

slide28

#13: Analogue Testing

  • Earth analogues are simpler
  • Pressure dome?
  • Use public-outreach groups for labor, publicity
  • Moon-testing must be simple and convenient

Credit: Mars Society

slide29

#14: Heavy Lift

  • Develop hardware for a wide range of applications
  • A Mars exploration mission should NOT absorb the whole investment!!
  • Simplicity over capability
  • ELVs over RLVs
slide30

#15: Risk vs Wait

  • No guarantee that future technology will reduce COMPLEXITY!
  • ... No guarantee of less RISK or COST
  • Complexity theory
  • Red Queen theory

Credit: Warner Bros.

shadows of medusa
Shadows of Medusa
  • Next-generation mission
  • Complexity reduction
  • Do the mission now
  • Signed in vendor area by author (Brian Enke)
  • Retail $35, Members $20
  • www.ShadowsOfMedusa.com
  • Share and enjoy!