Copyright © 2006 by Carlos Glender. Published by The Mars Society with permission
THE LOGISTICAL IMPORTANCE OF DESIGNING AND BUILDING SUPPORTABILITY, MAINTAINABILITY, AND COMMONALITY INTO EQUIPMENT USED FOR A HUMAN MARS MISSION
Ohio Chapter of the Mars Society
"This paper is entitled: "The logistical importance of designing and building Supportability, Maintainability, and Commonality into equipment used for a Human Mars Mission", and it will review some of the concepts learned in the support and maintenance of high technology aircraft, and aerospace systems and apply them to the design and planning of future manned Mars missions. With proper advanced planning, the significant logistical and supportability challenges resulting from long mission duration, extreme operating environment (extreme cold, dust, wind, etc.) and very long logistical pipeline can be successfully met. Using the concepts of keeping mission equipment as simple and robust as possible, using commonality (interchangeability) for high usage hardware items such as light bulbs, switches, gaskets, valves, etc., and having onboard a rudimentary repair capability will be very important in achieving mission success. Also, the criteria used in determining what type of spare parts and tooling should brought on a human Mars mission, will review basic concepts such as; 1). mission criticality of component, 2). can the component be changed or repaired in the field, 3). component failure rate and/or shelf life, and last, but certainly not least, 4). size and weight.
Additionally, this paper will review the success of some part standardization initiatives in the U.S. Navy and the airline industry, that can be incorporated in the planning and design of Mars mission equipment. It is very important that for humanity's first mission to another planet that the crew will have maximum flexibility and independence to successfully complete the mission. This can be greatly facilitated, through the coordinated design of their equipment (avoiding suboptimization), interchangeabilty and commonality of their hardware and consumables, and a well thought out plan for common tooling, as well as the ability to perform field repairs, to successfully handle any contingency that may occur."