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Paper: Mission Architecture Using the SpaceX Starship Vehicle to Enable a Sustained Human Presence on Mars (2021)

Source: Mary Ann Liebert


A main goal of human is to develop humanity into a multi-planet species where civilization extends beyond planet Earth. Establishing a self-sustaining human presence on is key to achieving this goal. In situ resource utilization (ISRU) on Mars is a critical component to enabling humans on Mars to both establish long-term outposts and become self-reliant. This article focuses on a mission architecture using the as cargo and crew vehicles for the journey to Mars. The first Starships flown to Mars will be uncrewed and will provide unprecedented opportunities to deliver ~ 100 metric tons of cargo to the martian surface per mission and conduct robotic precursor work to enable a sustained and self-reliant human presence on Mars. We propose that the highest priority activities for early uncrewed Starships include pre-placement of supplies, developing infrastructure, testing of key technologies, and conducting resource prospecting to map and characterize water ice for future ISRU purposes.



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