The present thesis discusses the findings for an architectural approach to the configuration design of a Human Mission to Mars. It has been developed within the larger context of the European Space Agency's (ESA) AURORA program for future human space exploration. The author was part of a committee that consulted with the scientists and engineers of the European Space and Technology Center (ESTEC) and other European industrial communities on developing the first human mission to Mars, which is scheduled for 2030. The thesis focuses on the architectural issues of crewed habitats. The author's task within the Human Mission to Mars study was to develop an interior configuration for a Transfer Vehicle (TV) to Mars, especially a Transfer Habitation Module (THM) and a Surface Habitat (SHM) on Mars.
The total travel time from Earth to Mars and back for a crew of six amounts to approximately 900 days. After a 200-day flight three crewmembers will land on Mars in the Mars Excursion Vehicle (MEV) and will live and work in the SHM for 30 days. For 500 days the spacecraft continues to circle the Martian orbit for further exploration before making the 200-day journey back to Earth. The entire mission program is based on our present knowledge of technology. The topics of the thesis were exposed to a constant feedback design process and a trans-disciplinary cooperation with the experts of ESAESTEC's Concurrent Design Facility.
Long-term human space flight sets new spatial conditions and requirements for the design concept. The guidelines are based on relevant numbers and facts of recognized standards, interviews with astronauts/cosmonauts, and analyses regarding habitability, sociology, psychology and configuration concepts of earlier space stations, in combination with the topics of individual perception and relation to space. The study result consists in the development of a prototype concept for the THM and SHM with detailed information and complete plans of the interior configuration, including mass calculations. The thesis also contains a detailed explanation of the design process development, including all suggested design and configuration options.