Exploring Transportation Architectures for Mars Missions with Torpor-Inducing Habitats | SPACEWORKS

September 18, 2018
Dr. John Bradford
Principal Engineer
SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc.
Mr. Benjamin Merrel
Aerospace Engineer
SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc.


SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) has been investigating and evaluating the feasibility of using emerging medical technologies to induce deep sleep states yielding significantly reduced metabolic rates to enable human exploration of space. Specifically, SpaceWorks has created several designs for in-space transit habitats that induce the crew into a torpor state. End-to-end mission architectures were then evaluated using ModelCenter to fully characterize the impacts of this technology to Mars exploration missions.

For these conjunction-class missions that utilized human stasis, a significant reduction in the total launch mass, number of heavy-lift launch vehicles, and in-space operations was achieved when compared to a NASA reference architecture.

For this modeling and simulation work, multiple disciplinary tools were integrated using ModelCenter. This included analysis of the main propulsion system, in-space trajectory segments, cryogenic propulsion stage sizing, transit habitat, crew torpor cycle and consumables, and radiation exposure levels.

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