Solar System Exploration Augmented by In-Situ Resource Utilization: Human Mercury and Saturn Exploration

Bryan A. Palaszewski
2015 8th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization   unpublished
Voice (216) 433-5802 FAX bryan.a.palaszewski@nasa.gov Fuels and Space Propellants Web Site: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/Fuels-And-Space-Propellants/foctopsb.htm Human and robotic missions to Mercury and Saturn are presented and analyzed. Unique elements of the local planetary environments are discussed and included in the analyses and assessments. Using historical studies of space exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and industrialization all point to the vastness of natural
more » ... s of natural resources in the solar system. Advanced propulsion benefitted from these resources in many way. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear pulse propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Updated analyses based on these historical visions will be presented. Nuclear thermal propulsion and ISRU enhanced chemical propulsion landers are assessed for Mercury missions. At Saturn, nuclear pulse propulsion with alternate propellant feed systems and Titan exploration with chemical propulsion options are discussed.
doi:10.2514/6.2015-1654 fatcat:cv44cykumfeajn2pj2xd5rjxqi