Site Planning and Design for First Expeditionary Lunar and Mars Missions 2004-01-2531
This study proposes that planetary protection issues, especially forward and back contamination, mandate thoughtful site operations and organization planning for human expeditions to Mars or to other planets. Planetary protection, while primarily concerned with contamination, also relates to prevention of physical damage to the site and is not merely an aesthetic issue. It involves preservation of visible geomorphologic features necessary for identification of structures and processes that may lead to water and/or life bearing or fossiliferous strata, as well as providing geological information regarding the natural history of the planet.
The study shall explain how careful planning, site operations and organization may increase the efficiency of the outpost, as additions are completed and new components installed. What this will mean for the explorer/astronaut is everything that is needed to support the outpost will have a definitive “place” before arrival. In previous terrestrial polar operations, experienced operations and logistics personnel locate things as they see fit. This usually follows certain logic, but does not adhere to an “organizational” rigor that can be applied by a design professional and is instrumental to the safe and effective operation of human settlements.
Placement of equipment within and outside habitats may also adhere to certain constraints relative to adjacencies of certain types of systems. Existing codes used in terrestrial design and construction will be reviewed relative to Mars site development and recommended as part of a comprehensive planetary surface site design guideline. Development of a comprehensive Mars specific code is an eventual goal.
The study will also address site operations and organization planning that extends to exploration and construction activities in the hinterland. Universal, internationally mandated procedures must be established for how any explorers will initially identify traverse paths and move from their habitat to logistics areas and to pre-designated scientific exploration zones.