Minimum Risk Deep Space Habitat and Life Support



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems


A minimum risk space habitat design concept is developed for a Mars fly-by. The Inspiration Mars project first publicly suggested a Mars fly-by that would send two crew on a 500 day free return mission to Mars. Inspiration Mars proposed a high risk mission, designed to meet only the minimum human needs for survival, and intended to reduce mission cost to the minimum. The suggested minimum risk approach here is diametrically opposite, intended to reduce risk and provide maximum health and comfort, regardless of cost. The minimum risk approach includes two redundant habitats and two full life support provisions, artificial gravity, and many times the minimum recommended crew volume and water. Compared to the Inspiration Mars approach, the minimum risk habitat has thirty times the volume and twenty times the mass and cost. Probably the best approach lies between these two extremes and the cost-risk trade-offs should be investigated.


Harry Jones, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center (ARC), US
ICES511: Reliability for Space Based Systems
The proceedings for the 2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems were published from July 31, 2020. The technical papers were not presented in person due to the inability to hold the event as scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.


Space habitat, Space risk, Mars fly-by