Design of a Multipurpose Extensible Space Habitat - Vanguard

TitleDesign of a Multipurpose Extensible Space Habitat - Vanguard
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsJoyce RT, Carpenter LD
EditorChang J-M
Tertiary AuthorsAkin DL
Conference Name47th International Conference on Environmental Systems
Date Published07/2017
Conference Location Charleston, South Carolina

In an era focused on human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit with a flat NASA budget profile, cost effective strategies will be required to sustain humans in deep space beyond the safety of Earth's magnetic shield and the ability to always abort to safety. Vanguard is proposed as a multipurpose extensible habitat that will support four crew for up to two years at most of the realistic, near-term targets for human exploration. Vanguard will be capable of operating in low Earth orbit, lunar distant retrograde orbit (or other stable Earth-Moon Lagrange point orbits), low lunar orbit, interplanetary space between Earth and Mars, as well as in various Martian orbits. The extent to which the spacecraft requirements for the different destinations affected the specifics of Vanguard's design were noted and the primary differences, thermal and power system masses, were compared to determine which environments exerted the maximum impact on the launch mass of the spacecraft. Systems analysis methods were used to size the habitat module, select between rigid or inflatable structure, determine mission conops, detail internal layouts, design environmental control and life support systems, and select power and thermal designs. Cost analysis was conducted and Vanguard was designed to be relevant in multiple environments to motivate multiple unit production, minimize nonrecurring costs, and reduce the average cost per spacecraft. This strategy will allow NASA to maximize on their investment in the next human spacecraft. As a result of this analysis, this paper aims to prove the value of designing a habitat to be the vanguard that paves the way for human exploration and habitation beyond low Earth orbit.