Human space mission conceptual design requires several steps as outlined in the methodology. The tools used for the SSDW consist of custom-developed software dedicated to space mission conceptual design and simulation as well as commercially-available, general-purpose software. Together, they allow for intuitive development and iterative assessment of the space mission design.


ASTOS is the “Analysis, Simulation and Trajectory Optimization Software” for aerospace scenarios. It is the reference tool at ESA and DLR for trajectory optimization, vehicle design, simulation as well as for mission analysis. A user-friendly GUI provides the best platform to define whatever space scenario: ascent of a launcher, re-entry of lifting body, orbit transfer with low- or high-thrust, scientific satellite in orbit or destructive re-entry. The comprehensive library includes all the models required by the mission: atmosphere, celestial body, wind, hydrosphere, components, actuator and sensor. Once the scenario is simulated and/or optimized, the results are presented in automatically generated reports, graphic plots and a realistic 3D animation. ASTOS is a commercial-available tool developed by Astos Solutions in Germany and used by almost all the space agency worldwide and several companies.




ELISSA stands for “Environment for Life-Support Systems Simulation and Analysis”. It is a support tool, developed at the Institute of Space Systems, for the design and analysis of complex Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS). The program environment is based on the commercially available software LabVIEW, which provides the graphical programming language “G”. It provides an intuitive graphical user interface that allows the user to select different technologies for air, water, waste and food management for a wide range of mission scenarios (such as a Moon base or a transit to Mars).

The simulation tool allows to size the ECLSS, identifying the number of components required for each functionality, as well as tanks for gases, liquids, solids and consumables. As a result it provides the Equivalent System Mass that allows to compare different designs of ECLSS. Moreover, as it simulates the state of the system over time, the user can evaluate how the system reacts when a component fails.elissa