In his book Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, Dr. Buzz Aldrin laid out a plan for human colonization of Mars. The mission concept includes all of the steps that must be taken to reach Mars and establish the first permanent colony by 2040. To start, key technologies are tested in low earth orbit, at Lagrange points, and on the lunar surface. The next step is to establish cycler vehicles which will loop between Earth and Mars, supporting humans on the 5-6 month trip to Mars. A smaller base will be built on Phobos where astronauts can remotely operate rovers and cranes on the surface without the long time delay. Finally, after the first Martian base has been robotically constructed, the first humans will step onto the surface of Mars.
Our professor, Dr. James Longuski, worked with his research group and Dr. Aldrin for almost three months to craft a set of requirements that we could use for this feasibility study. The mission specifications can be found under the Documents tab above along with our final report. For this course we worked as a 51 person team, that was student managed and directed, to test the numbers behind this version of Dr. Aldrin's vision. We are planning some future work to study how changes to our given mission specifications affect the results.
Please enjoy the video below which depicts the mission and explains what the students accomplished in the course. If you have any questions, you can contact Professor James Longuski.
Project Aldrin-Purdue, Mission to Mars
Instructor: Professor James Longuski
Teaching Assistant: Peter Edelman
Mission Design Advisor: Sarag Saikia
Aldrin-Purdue Student Design Team
Project Manager: Stephen Whitnah
Assistant Project Manager: Jani Dominguez
Media contact: Jennifer Merzdorf, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics marketing and communication administrator, 765-496-0291