Analysis of Infrastructure to Support a Future Space Economy

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Roohi, Zayn A.
Robertson, Bradford E.
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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Beginning with the Artemis-I mission in late 2022, NASA is embarking upon a series of increasingly complex missions to establish a permanent presence on the surface of the Moon, potentially leading to manned Mars missions within the next few decades. Several private companies have also announced that they have begun work on space tourism projects with the goal of launching within this same time-frame. Supporting this expansion will require advanced space logistics and the development of dedicated space-based supply chains in order to reduce cost and increase resiliency. Previous research has focused on studying the impact that a specific technology, vehicle, or type of infrastructure has on supporting a single space campaign or mission; this paper takes a wider view by examining the impact that several types of infrastructure concepts together will have on the entire set of operations that could take place within the next decade. Lunar in-situ resource utilization, space depots, and space tugs are considered as infrastructure concepts, and a Lunar space station, Lunar habitat, Earth space stations, and Mars missions are considered as the operations to support. A time expanded mixed-integer nonlinear programming model is used to solve traditional network flow and supply chain problems, the results of which are used to propose future resupply missions and supply chain architectures.
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