Entry system options for human return from the Moon and Mars

Z. R. Putnam, R. D. Braun, R. R. Rohrschneider, J. A. Dec

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Earth entry system options for human return missions from the Moon and Mars were analyzed and compared to identify trends among the configurations and trajectory options and to facilitate informed decision making at the exploration architecture level. Entry system options included ballistic, lifting capsule, biconic, and lifting body configurations with direct entry and aerocapture trajectories. For each configuration and trajectory option, the thermal environment, deceleration environment, crossrange and downrange performance, and entry corridor were assessed. In addition, the feasibility of a common vehicle for lunar and Mars return was investigated. The results show that a low lift-to-drag ratio (L/D - 0.3) vehicle provides sufficient performance for both lunar and Mars return missions while providing the following benefits: excellent packaging efficiency, low structural and TPS mass fraction, ease of launch vehicle integration, and system elegance and simplicity. Numerous configuration options exist that achieve this L/D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference 2005
Pages449-462
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference 2005 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 15 2005Aug 18 2005

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference
Volume1

Other

OtherAIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference 2005
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period8/15/058/18/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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  • Cite this

    Putnam, Z. R., Braun, R. D., Rohrschneider, R. R., & Dec, J. A. (2005). Entry system options for human return from the Moon and Mars. In Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference 2005 (pp. 449-462). (Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference; Vol. 1).