MinMars/Follow-on Projects

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For the following technologies / systems, further in-depth analysis and prototype development / test could deliver significant benefit:

Mars aerocapture and/ or EDL

  • Comprehensive search for available aerodynamic data
  • More detailed trajectory and aerodynamic modeling, including entry GN&C
  • Analysis of aeroshell structural design and internal layout
  • Setup of a forum for people involved in research in this area

Mars surface water production

  • Characterization of the available resource base as a function of latitude, longitude, depth, and chemical characteristics
  • Review of literature and state of the art on technologies for accessing Mars water resources and producing water from them
  • Possibly develop breadboard prototypes for test of processes and technologies

Mars surface power generation and energy storage

  • Integrated system design including energy storage and deployment of solar arrays
  • Test of breadboard prototype in relevant environment to demonstrate feasibility (including deploment)

Mars surface food production

  • Review of the state of the art of in-space food production systems and applicability to Mars surface
  • Development of concepts for systems with partial and near-full food loop closure (also in context of growing population)
  • Trade analysis of food production and re-supply system concepts (including estimation of breakeven times for investment)

Mars surface spare parts production

  • More detailed modeling of spare part needs for ground systems
  • Development of concepts for in-situ spare parts production (including select materials from Earth as input) with particular focus on plastics
  • Test of relevant breadboard prototypes (e.g., plastics extrusion systems, plastics synthesis from base ISRU products)

Mars surface EVA suit concepts

  • Review of literature on Mars surface EVA systems concepts and technology
  • Development of concepts for EVA life support enabling efficient high-frequency EVAs (e.g., cooling systems with low consumable requirements)
  • Test of breadboard prototypes in relevant environments

Financial analysis

  • Develop more detailed understanding of development, unit, and transportation costs involved in emplacing initial toehold infrastructure on Mars, sustaining toehold over time, and growing toehold into colony
  • Sensitivity analyses for toehold emplacement, support, and growth through net-present-cost modeling