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Nov 17 – 18, 2022
Montreal, Canada - Concordia University Conference Centre
Canada/Eastern timezone

Design of a Mars Transit Vehicle for human space missions in 2040: an International Master SEEDS project work

Nov 17, 2022, 4:30 PM
20m
Rooms A&B (Montreal, Canada - Concordia University Conference Centre)

Rooms A&B

Montreal, Canada - Concordia University Conference Centre

John-Molson School of Business
Moving to Mars Workshop: 17-18 November

Speakers

RIccardo Moro (Politecnico di Torino) Antonio Rotondi (Politecnico di Torino)

Description

Reaching Mars is the next giant leap for humankind in the exploration of the Solar System and transporting a crew safely from Earth to the Red Planet is arguably the most challenging aspect of this expedition. This work presents the project carried out during the XIV edition of the Master SEEDS – Space Exploration and Development Systems, which gathered 35 students from Politecnico di Torino, Italy, ISAE-SUPAERO Toulouse, France, and University of Leicester, UK, to tackle the problem in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space, Altec and the Italian Space Agency.
The constraints of the mission of MaVeRiC – Mars Vehicle foR Interplanetary Cruise are a mission duration of roughly 1000 days in the timeframe between 2030 and 2040 and the capability of supporting a crew of four astronauts. After deriving the mission objectives and the high-level requirements, a preliminary design study has been performed and different solutions were assessed and compared. In the end the final configuration has been defined and is presented here.
The result is a vehicle composed of two habitable modules that contain all the life support systems and payload for the execution of scientific experiments during the travel. Moreover, they comprise the adequate living spaces for the crew, a greenhouse to produce fresh food and all the physical exercise equipment, including a short arm centrifuge combined with a cycle ergometer for the counteraction against the microgravity effects on the human physique, given the necessity for the astronauts to be fit and autonomous at the arrival on Mars. An additional cargo module is attached to provide all the necessary consumables and increase the habitable volume. Regarding the other subsystems, the spacecraft is equipped with a nuclear propulsion system employing liquid hydrogen, that is stored in discardable tanks to improve the efficiency of the maneuvers. The three reactors composing this system are also connected to two Brayton cycle engines to produce electric power. The tanks, habitable modules and propulsion and power systems are linked via a truss structure, where also the other subsystems are located. The radiation protection of the astronauts is achieved via multiple methods, comprising the use of a shield of hydrogenated boron nitride nanotubes and the exploitation of the on-board water and waste, through a heat melt compactor. All the modules are going to be assembled in the lunar orbit with multiple launches and using space tugs and the spacecraft can be reused for multiple Mars transfers.
During this project, a complete design of a human Mars transfer vehicle has been developed and different problems studied: all the feasible solutions have been included in the final design, tackling issues related to the microgravity environment, the radiation protection and the long duration of the mission. Then, a risk, programmatic and cost analysis have been performed to allow the possibility to propose this concept to the international space community, while also highlighting the main critical technologies whose development should be pursued by the space agencies.

Co-authors

Mr Alexander Smith (University of Leicester) Mr Amit Bhoyar (Politecnico di Torino) Ms Angela Tosti (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Anthony Faure-Gignoux (ISAE Supaero) Antonin Lecomte (ISAE Supaero) Ms Asnate Plocina (University of Leicester) Mr Baptiste Rubino-Moyner (Politecnico di Torino) Ms Yogita Gohiya (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Vincent Bourinet (ISAE Supaero) Mr Timothée Simon (ISAE Supaero) Mr Thomas Lovell (University of Leicester) Mr Sedat Izcan (University of Leicester) Sacha Sylvestre (ISAE Supaero) Mr Ryan Dahoumane (ISAE Supaero) Mr Nicolas Pironnet (ISAE Supaero) Mr Leonardo Ricci (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Mario Rizzi (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Julien Rondey (ISAE Supaero) Mr Giovanni Grimaldi (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Gianmarco Floro (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Joseph Robinson (University of Leicester) Mr Matteo Nobili (Politecnico di Torino) Deping Zheng (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Guillaume Truong--Allié (ISAE Supaero) Mr Lokdeep Kalaiselvam (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Parin Vyas (University of Leicester) Mr Jose Cavero (University of Leicester) Mr Jérémy Aubert (ISAE Supaero) Mr Federico Giraldo (Politecnico di Torino) Ms Pauline Carpi (ISAE Supaero) Mr Nihar Modi (University of Leicester) Ms Min Cui (Politecnico di Torino) RIccardo Moro (Politecnico di Torino) Mr Giuseppe Governale (Politecnico di Torino) Antonio Rotondi (Politecnico di Torino)

Presentation materials