Post by Kristen Goshorn on Jul 12, 2018 3:41:48 GMT
Hello Rocket Scientists, When the crew destined to rocket toward Mars leaves Earth in Orion via the SLS, will they head straight to Mars or do they dock at the Deep Space Gateway first? And if they dock, how long do they stay, and what purpose does their layover serve? I've read that while Orion is not attached to the DSG, the gateway is unmanned and in a near hibernation mode while continuing science experiments. Is that correct? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Post by Kristen Goshorn on Jul 13, 2018 3:21:27 GMT
In case anyone else is looking for this, I thought I'd share it here: nvite.jsc.nasa.gov/presentations/b2/D1_Mars_Connolly.pdf So Orion is not taking our astronauts to Mars. Instead the Orion delivers the crew to the DSG / LOP-G and then returns to Earth unmanned. Meanwhile, the crew boards the Deep Space Transport via the DSG. Is that correct?
Hi Kristen- Your follow up is correct in sequence. SLS/Orion would launch and take the crew to the Gateway to meet up and board the deep space transport ship. Orion can dwell at the gateway for awhile or return to Earth in the meantime. The purpose of this intermediate step is that the transport itself is so big it requires multiple launches to assemble. having enough 'stuff' to support people for a 2 years trip to Mars (habitat, food, water, power systems, propulsion, etc) will have to be assembled near the Earth beforehand. Assembling in a lower gravity state around the moon will make actual departure to Mars easier when the Mars mission itself starts. Assembling in low Earth orbit means even more propulsive capability would be needed to get such a large ship headed on its way. When the transport returns it can rejoin the Gateway and another waiting Orion would bring the crew back to Earth. Then the transport can be restocked and used again. - Nujoud