Artificial Gravity for Mars Missions: The Different Design and Development Options 2000-01-2246
One of the major impediments to human Mars missions is the development of appropriate countermeasures for long term physiological response to the micro-gravity environment. A plethora of countermeasure approaches have been advanced from strictly pharmacological measures to large diameter rotating spacecraft that would simulate a 1-g environment (the latter being the most conservative from a human health perspective). The different approaches have significantly different implications not only on the overall system design of a Mars Mission Vehicle (MMV) but on the necessary earth-orbiting platform that would be required to qualify the particular countermeasure system. It is found that these different design options can be conveniently categorized in terms of the order of magnitude of the rotation diameter required (100's, 10's, 1's, 0 meters). From this, the different mass penalties associated with each category can be generally compared. The overall objective of the countermeasure system should be to maximize crew safety and comfort, minimize exercise protocol time (i.e., the time per day that each crew member would have to participate in the exercise/ countermeasure), maximize countermeasure effectiveness, and minimize the associated system mass penalty of the Mars Mission Vehicle (in terms of fraction of IMLEO - Injected Mass in Low Earth Orbit).