and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars
The Eighth Community Workshop for Achievability and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars
The eighth in our series of workshops (AM VIII), built upon our previous workshops (particularly AM workshops V, VI, and VII; https://www.exploremars.org/affording-mars/ ), which emphasized that both the Moon and Mars are intrinsically compelling in their own right.
Our sixth and seventh workshops (held in-person during August 2018 and November 2019, respectively) critically assessed how operations, technologies, and facilities for the Moon and its vicinity may simultaneously be used to enable human missions to the martian surface before the end of the 2030s. AM VIII, however, was structured differently from our previous seven stand-alone workshops. Planned as the first of a two-part event, the initial workshop (AM 8) took place virtually in early June 2021 and will be followed by a planned in-person workshop (AM IX) that is tentatively scheduled for early February 2021.
During AM VIII, a multi-disciplinary team of subject matter experts (SMEs) met to further address how lunar activities can be maximally leveraged to enable the human exploration of Mars. Some of the critical questions asked included:
- What are the mission priorities for the in-transit, orbital, and surface elements that crews can achieve under different scenarios?
- How might crew preparation be optimized to enhance the performance of astronauts selected for these missions, whether orbital, short-stay, or long-stay, and in transit?
- What are the priority science and human exploration goals on the Moon and Mars that can be coordinated to enhance productivity for both worlds?
- How can human-robotic partnerships enhance human performance?
- How can operational experience on the International Space Station (ISS) as analog, and the return of humans to the Moon, be best applied to voyages to Mars?
The June 2021 virtual workshop yielded initial findings and recommendations. These findings and recommendations are only preliminary in nature, however, and will be subject to further review at the larger, in- person, AM IX workshop.