The Third Community Workshop on Affording and Sustaining

Human Mars Exploration (AM III)

Team AM III

The highest priority for human space flight beyond low Earth orbit is a sustainable campaign of missions with a successful initial mission to the vicinity of Mars before the mid-2030s.

 

Click here to View the Full Report of The Third Mars Affordability and Sustainability Workshop

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Character of Workshop:

Representatives of major stakeholders in human exploration of Mars within about two decades, including government agencies, academia, industry, and science.

Consensus will be sought and confidentiality will be respected.

Unless otherwise stated, individuals will represent only themselves.

A Program that is Sustainable is By Definition Affordable.

A Program that is Affordable is Not by Definition Sustainable

An affordable program is an activity that stakeholders are willing to support because it returns value commensurate with its cost. A Level 0 requirement for Mars human exploration architectures is identification of the sustaining sources of funding and how the architecture will return value to stakeholders. A sustainable campaign is one that is affordable with returned value sufficient to ensure stakeholder support over decades.

Workshop Outcomes and Deliverables

  • Observations and commentary on the affordability and sustainability of Mars architectures and strategies presented at the workshop, especially elements of Mars architectures that are robust against cancellation or delay.
  • Priority science objectives enabled by human presence in the vicinity of Mars and elements of Mars architectures particularly useful to scientific exploration.
  • Findings and recommendations on viable common features and capabilities of different architectures, priority near-term actions and investments for the space agencies and industrial partners, future design and architecture studies, international participation, etc.
  • Outreach and engagement strategy to professionals, especially with respect to other scientists, engineers, and architects of human space flight scenarios: follow-on workshops, conference presentations, briefings to NASA and other human space flight leaders
  •  A professional engagement strategy to the general public and stakeholders

Guiding Workshop Assumptions

  • Scientific exploration of Mars will be a major activity in the decades ahead, as well as a significant component of human exploration.
  • Early and focused technology investment, including precursors and demonstration missions, is essential for the timescale adopted here.
  • Technical/engineering solutions exist for landing and long-duration operations on the martian surface.
  • Partnerships (international, industrial, commercial, academic . . .) will be an essential component of human Mars exploration.
  • Research and development will continue on ISS at least through the mid-2020s.
  • SLS and Orion will be available during the time period considered here.
  • The budgets for space agencies will be approximately flat at least for the next few years. Budget growth is possible in response to an international commitment to travel to Mars.

 

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Day One (2 December) Morning First Session (Plenary)

0800 | Introductions, workshop goals & deliverables, discussion of ground rules and assumptions

0830 | Prepared presentations and discussion (30 min each): current concepts, affordability & sustainability

 

1230 | Working lunch and brief meeting of breakout sessions

 

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Day One (2 December) Afternoon Second Session (Plenary)

1300 | Prepared presentations and discussion

 

1520 | Exploration scenarios (30 min each)

  • Plenary discussion and opening instructions to breakouts

 

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Day Two (3 December) Morning Third Session

0900 | Breakout instructions and opening presentations

 

1000 | Breakout sessions: kick-off and initial discussion: two topics, each covered by two breakout groups

  • Comparing and contrasting the architectures: strengths, challenges, key milestones, etc. on the basis of science enabled and enhanced by humans in the vicinity of Mars
  • Sustainability: the international context, programmatic priorities, characteristics that promote sustainability, etc.
  • “Snapshot” plenary presentations by breakout groups

Day Two (3 December) Afternoon Fourth Session

  • Lunch plenary review of first morning, feedback, mid-course update
  • Facilitated breakout sessions: two topics, each covered by two breakout groups
    • Compare and contrast the architectures: strengths, challenges, key milestones, etc. on the basis of science enabled and enhanced by humans in the vicinity of Mars
    • Sustainability: the international context, programmatic priorities, characteristics that promote sustainability, etc.
  • Afternoon plenary review and discussion

 

Day Three (4 December) Morning Fifth Session

  • Integration/summary of breakout reports and plenary presentations
    • Closing breakout (or plenary?): next steps to sustain this activity, including writing assignments

 

Guiding Questions for the Breakout Sessions

For the sustainability and affordability sessions:

  • What are the strengths/challenges of the Mars exploration scenarios presented in plenary (with solutions to the challenges)?
    • What characterizes a campaign that will endure?
    • What can be done to minimize the chance of program cancellation after the precursor robotic and earliest human Mars missions?
    • What specific near-term activities need to be carried that would enhance sustainability and by whom?
    • What are key roles played by stakeholders?
    • Which of NASA’s technology development priorities are most enabling of sustainable and affordable Mars exploration? And on what timescale? (e.g., which must be developed within a constrained budget to permit an affordable initial mission within about two decades?)
    • How do we best leverage partnerships of all kinds to improve sustainability, including reducing cost?
    • How can human and science mission objectives be tailored to more effectively to engage the public, which will result in improved program sustainability?

For the science enabled by human spaceflight sessions:

  • For prioritized scientific objectives for the martian system (the planet’s surface, in orbit, or on its moons), what are the most enabling capabilities of the exploration architecture(s) and why?
    • How might the exploration scenarios be altered to enable better science (connection to higher priority objectives, results more definitive, more objectives pursued, etc.)?
    • Which science objectives might be modified to increase science return within the existing exploration scenarios? How might SLS be used to advance the science return?
  • Which robotic precursors and instrumentation are necessary to enable initial human Mars exploration?
  • How do we best leverage partnerships of all kinds to improve sustainability, including reducing cost?
  • How can human and science mission objectives be tailored to more effectively to engage the public, which will result in improved program sustainability?

The Affording Mars & Sustainability Workshop Series Reports

 

Affording Mars 2014

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CONTINUING TO BUILD A COMMUNITY CONSENSUS ON THE FUTURE OF HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT

OVERVIEW

To continue building community consensus on the future of human space exploration, the Second Mars Affordability and Sustainability Workshop (AM II) was hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and held at the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) conference building on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA, October 14 – 15, 2014. Approximately 60 invited professionals from the industrial and commercial sectors, academia, NASA, and the Canadian Space Agency participated in the workshop. These individuals were chosen to be representative of the breadth of interests in astronaut and robotic Mars exploration.  AM II continued the work that began with the first Affording Mars Workshop (AM I) in 2013. AM II conducted side-by-side comparisons of potential Mars mission architectures and strategies, discussed potential science goals associated with architectures for human missions to Mars, and examined how to design and advance a humans-to-Mars program that is fiscally and politically sustainable. The output of the workshop consists of observations, findings, and recommendations intended to guide space agency leadership and national policymakers.

View Entire Report Here:

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The Affording Mars Workshop 2013 Report

Affording Mars Web

Human Mission to Mars is Both Feasible, Affordable

Industry, Government Leaders Issue Consensus Statement on Six Principles to Achieve a Human Mars Mission by the 2030s

WASHINGTON, DC January 14, 2014 — A global working group of more than sixty leaders from more than thirty government, industry and academic organizations issued a joint statement today announcing consensus that a human mission to Mars is both feasible and affordable assuming policy consistency among international space agencies and levels of funding consistent with pre-sequestration levels and modest increases annually in line with inflation.

This group launched this initiative with the goal of building stakeholder consensus on what is necessary to make human Mars exploration feasible, sustainable, and affordable within two decades. To begin this international effort, Explore Mars, Inc. and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) hosted the Affording Mars Workshop on December 3-5, 2013 at George Washington University.

Participants assessed scenarios for compelling human and robotic exploration of Mars, the role of the International Space Station (ISS) over the coming decade, possible cost-effective “bridge” missions in the 2020s to follow ISS, key capabilities required for initial missions, international partnerships, and an actionable definition of affordability and sustainability.

Leaders agreed on six core principles:

1)         Sending humans to Mars is affordable with the right partnerships, commitment to efficiency, constancy of purpose, and policy/budget consistency.

2)        Human exploration of Mars is technologically feasible by the 2030s.

3)        Mars should be the priority for human space flight over the next two to three decades.

4)        Between now and 2030, investments and activities in the human exploration of space must be prioritized in a manner that advances the objective of initial human missions to Mars beginning in the 2030s.

5)        Utilizing the International Space Station (ISS) is essential for human missions to deep space.

6)        Continuation of robotic precursor missions to Mars throughout the 2020’s is essential for the success of human missions to Mars.

Click here to read full report:

Affording Human Exploration of Mars 1-12-14 final_Page_01

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