Launch and Assembly Reliability Analysis for Mars Human Space Exploration Missions

imagesCA18WE00NASA’s long-range goal is focused upon human exploration of Mars. Missions to Mars will require campaigns of multiple launches to assemble Mars Transfer Vehicles in Earth orbit. Launch campaigns are subject to delays, launch vehicles can fail to place their payloads into the required orbit, and spacecraft may fail during the assembly process or while loitering prior to the Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) burn. Additionally, missions to Mars have constrained departure windows lasting approximately sixty days that repeat approximately every two years. Ensuring high reliability of launching and assembling all required elements in time to support the TMI window will be a key enabler to mission success. This paper describes an integrated methodology for analyzing and improving the reliability of the launch and assembly campaign phase. A discrete event simulation involves several pertinent risk factors including, but not limited to: manufacturing completion; transportation; ground processing; launch countdown; ascent; rendezvous and docking, assembly, and orbital operations leading up to TMI. The model accommodates varying numbers of launches, including the potential for spare launches. Having a spare launch capability provides significant improvement to mission success. For more

info please go to:  http://www.ntis.gov/search/product.aspx?ABBR=N20130012764 

Personal Author C. Stromgren G. R. Cates K. E. Goodliff W. M. Cirillo

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