1993-07-01

An Assessment of Pressure/Oxygen Ratios for a Mars Base 932147

It is well known that selection of the pressure/oxygen ratio for a human space habitat is a critical decision for the well-being and mission performance of astronauts. It has also been noted how this ratio affects the requirement for pre- and post-breathing and the type and flexibility of EVA/EHA astronaut suits. However, little attention has been paid to how these issues interact with various mission design strategies. Using the first manned mission to Mars as a baseline mission, we have separated the mission into its component parts as it relates to habitat type (i.e., the Earth-Mars interplanetary vehicle, the ascent/descent vehicle, the base, human rover vehicles, etc.) and have determined the oxygen resupply requirements for each part as they reflect a mission design strategy. These component parts form a matrix where duration of stay, loss of oxygen due to leakage and usage, and oxygen resupply needs are calculated. The matrix is then used as part of an evaluation model to compare several strategies which are aimed at reducing the oxygen resupply problem while maintaining astronaut safety and productivity.

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