for Manned Missions to Mars, Past and Present
Scott Lowther, Pioneer Astronautics, 445 Union Blvd. #125, Lakewood, CO 80228
A large number of space launch boosters have been proposed throughout the years, many of which were designed for or were applicable to launching components required for manned missions to Mars. In this paper, past and current designs for booster vehicles needed to perform manned Mars missions are examined and compared, with emphasis on current and very recent concepts. Included are such designs as: von BraunŐs 1952 Ferry Rocket, the Saturn V and various Saturn V derived vehicles, various Nova studies from the 1960Ős, the Soviet N-1, the Soviet Energia, various Shuttle Derived Vehicles (such as Shuttle-C, Aries and similar designs) , the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, VentureStar, StarBooster 400, StarBooster 1800 and Magnum. Vehicle designs are described and shown and capabilities are compared, along with any manned Mars mission modes originally proposed for each booster. The utility of each booster for Mars piloted and cargo missions at current technological levels are examined.
Three baseline Mars missions based on modern technology are also to be briefly described: A Mars Direct architecture, the current NASA-JSC Design Reference Mission architecture and a stereotypical large on-orbit assembled single vehicle. These missions are then modified for each booster, showing the modifications required, if any, to the mission in order to utilize a certain launch system. The results are then compared and contrasted. Conclusions are drawn based upon these results, with certain boosters showing a higher level of ability and confidence.