Mission Statement

1. Background Scenario

Looking at the achievements of human exploration of our solar system, the Moon has been the outer limit. No human being has been further away from our home planet than approximately 400 000 km. Considering, that the first Moon landing was almost 50 year ago, it is about time to expand human exploration beyond the Earth Trabant in order to go, where no one has been before.

This is at least the point of view from Eva Den, CEO of “Exploration and Development Enterprise” (EDEN), your employer. In her opinion, it is about time to plan for something greater than there has ever been: She proposes to gather all available resources as well as international experts and political leaders in order to start the largest endeavour in the history of humankind: Sending humans beyond the Earth-Moon system on their way to the next planetary body – Mars!

Exploration and Development Enterprise is an established private space company with several locations across Europe. CEO and founder E. Den own words show how fascinated she has always been about space and that she is convinced, that we are now ready for the next challenge: “I am from a generation that missed the very first man landing on the Moon. However, watching the video of Kennedy’s speech and the images of that unique moment in our history has always been inspiring for me. I have followed the human space flight history from the first Shuttle mission, through MIR Station, until today with the uncountable experiments on the ISS and the Chinese progress on Tiangong. I firmly believe that it is time to make the next step. I know our generation is more than capable of carrying out such a great endeavour. And I’m strongly convinced that the entire planet could benefit from the technology advancements and gained knowledge of going a step beyond: approaching Mars, our red neighbour planet.”

As employee of EDEN and international approved specialist in your field of expertise, E. Den has ordered you and 19 other colleagues from all different areas to form the Mars-Task-Force. You are a group of mission analysts, system engineers, scientific and business experts and architects with the task to conceptualize a human tended platform within the vicinity of the red planet.

To ensure the project will catch the space agencies worldwide interest, the CEO has commissioned a pre-study to a group of space experts, the Interstellar Research-council for Space (IRS). The goal of IRS was to identify key objectives, which space agencies over the world might be interested in. Of course, it might not be possible to satisfy all of them. The results of this study have been made available to you and shall be used as the fundament for your project. Your boss is giving you some freedom in many aspects such as where the platform should be located, the size of the crew, and the prioritization of the objectives to ensure that your proposal satisfies as many agencies as possible, thus engaging partners worldwide.

2.    Mission Statement

Survey and investigate different options to establish an international human tended presence in the vicinity of Mars. Formulate a comprehensive study of the selected scenario.

The proposed concept shall focus on three main aspects: The mission shall allow for extensive human and robotic exploration beyond the current frontiers, enabling new insights into the Martian system. Secondly, it shall allow widening the knowledge on the formation and evolution of our Solar System, not only to better understand the world we live in but also to help us foreseeing future changes on Earth itself. Finally, it shall be able to study the origin and history of Life, adding new pieces of information about the heritage of human mankind to the existing puzzle in order to one day finally be able to answer the fundamental questions: who are we, where do we come from and are we alone?

3.    Task Description

The objective of this study is to develop a conceptual design of a human rated platform in the vicinity of Mars.

First, develop several (at least 3) potential scenarios, and perform a trade study evaluating the following criteria:

  • Fulfilment of space agencies objectives:
    • Expansion of human and robotic exploration beyond the Moon
      • Investigate physical effects on humans
      • Investigate psychological effects on humans
      • Colonization possibilities
      • Utilization of ISRU
      • Use of telerobotic operations
    • Research on formation & evolution of the solar system, regarding:
      • Planetary science
      • Material science
      • Emergence of planets, moons and smaller bodies
    • Exploration on the Origin and history of Life
      • Prove/disprove of past/present life in the Martian system
      • Investigate life science (differences, origins, evolution of life forms)
    • Consideration of programmatic aspects:
      • Feasibility of scenarios
      • TRL
      • Complexity
      • Public outreach factor

Second, choose the best assessed scenario and design a mission for a human rated platform based on the result of your study.

The platform shall:

  • safely accommodate a crew of astronauts
  • Allow satisfaction of space agencies objectives
  • start human operation by 2030
  • be operated for at least 15 years

The concept shall:

  • include business, marketing and operation planning (Pre Phase A level, feasibility addressed, bread-boarding/modelling welcome),
  • encourage international cooperation as shown with the ISS,
  • offer participation to emerging space partners

and

  • outline a significant contribution from Europe that creates visibility.