Manned Space Exploration and Life Support - Strategies, Milestones, and Limitations
A rationale will be presented,as to why a lunar base should be the next logical step of a future scenario for manned space flight preceding a flight to Mars. In this respect, the lunar base and the Mars flight examples and their life support systems will be addressed. An overview of past experiences, especially Apollo, and the current knowledge is given concerning both lunar missions and life support systems. Also, critical areas of mission design and preparation, like the necessity of precursor missions, the potential of resource utilization, radiation shielding, and life support system evolution, are addressed. This paper decribes a general development scenario for future manned missions to the Moon and Mars and why a “dress rehearsal” of a mission to Mars in the Earth-Moon-system will be necessary, and what lessons can be learned from the development of a lunar base for missions to Mars.