Human Missions to Mars

Enabling Technologies for Exploring the Red Planet

Donald Rapp

Human Missions to MarsA human mission to Mars would be the pinnacle of Solar System exploration, representing not only an inspiring engineering achievement, but also the creation of a new era of expansion of humanity into space. Although NASA and others have developed scenarios for how such a mission might be carried out, many of the assumptions were optimistic and many details were left out. Because once embarked to Mars, there is no return to Earth for about 2.7 years, every system must be exquisitely reliable.

This book takes a critical view of the requirements for human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. It discusses in detail all the technologies that need to be developed and demonstrated and examines the full range of elements critical to such missions, including recycling of life support consumables, radiation effects and shielding, aero-assisted orbit insertion and entry descent and landing amongst much else. The initial mass in low Earth orbit is used as a guide for Mission feasibility.

Lavishly illustrated, Human Missions to Mars is a highly readable yet realistic view of the possible future of the exploration of the Red Planet. For the first time it brings together a wide range of material currently fragmented in the literature, and presents a cogent argument against the overly-optimistic forecasts promulgated by NASA, the Mars Society and others. At the same time, it presents a plan to establish the technical basis for a credible human mission to Mars.

Table of Contents

Extent: 552 pages; two 8-page colour sections
Binding: Hardback
Publication Date: August 2007
ISBN: 978-3-540-72938-9

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