Feasibility Study of Manned Mission to Mars using Nuclear Electric Propulsion

Space technics and technology


Konstantinov M. S.*, Loeb H. W., Petukhov V. G.**, Popov G. A.***

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia

*e-mail: mkonst@bk.ru
**e-mail: vgpetukhov@gmail.com
***e-mail: riame4@sokol.ru


It is considered a flight profile for manned mission to Mars using nuclear electric propulsion. Considered flight profile has long duration (1000…1100 days) and it requires relatively low spacecraft mass at low earth orbit (200 metric tons). It is carried out feasibility study of the flight profile. Performance index is required propellant mass. Here minimization of required propellant mass is equivalent to maximization of total dry mass of nuclear electric propulsion system. It is shown the considered flight profile requires nuclear electric propulsion system having specific mass less than 15 kg/kW while thrust efficiency is 0.75, relative tankage mass is 0.1, and manned orbital complex mass is 60 metric ton.


spacecraft; Mars project, manned complex, electric propulsion system, nuclear power supply system


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