List of manned Mars mission plans in the 20th century
This list of manned Mars mission plans in the 20th century is a listing of formal proposals, studies, and plans for a human manned mission to Mars during the 20th century. It is limited to serious studies done with engineering and scientific knowledge about the capabilities of then current technology, typically for high-budget space agencies like NASA. Mission profiles included manned flybys, manned landers, or other types of Mars system encounter strategies. For later plans, see Manned mission to Mars.
Many mission concepts for expeditions to Mars were proposed in the late 20th century. David Portree's history volume Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning, 1950—2000 discusses many of these. Portree notes that every 26 Earth months a lower energy Earth to Mars transfer opportunity opens, so missions typically coincide with one of these windows. In addition, the lowest available transfer energy varies on a roughly 16-year cycle, with a minimum in the 1969 and 1971 launch windows, rising to a peak in the late 70s, and hitting another low in 1986 and 1988. Also of note, the Mariner 4 Mars flyby in 1965 provided radically more accurate data about the planet; a surface atmospheric pressure of about 1% of Earth's and daytime temperatures of -100 degrees Celsius (-148 degrees Fahrenheit) were estimated. No magnetic field or Martian radiation belts were detected. The new data meant redesigns for planned Martian landers, and showed life would have a more difficult time surviving there than previously anticipated. Later NASA probes in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s confirmed the findings about Mars environmental conditions.
The first "engineering analysis" of a manned mission to Mars was made by Wernher von Braun in 1948. It was originally published as Das Marsprojekt in West Germany in 1952, and as The Mars Project in English in the United States in 1953. Von Braun's Mars "flotilla" included ten 4,000-ton ships with 70 crew members. The expected launch year was 1965.
The list is in semi-chronological order, with some groupings, as variation can exist in the dating of a given plan. Various references were consulted. LEO mass refers to how much hardware must be put in low Earth orbit for the mission. For comparison, the low Earth orbit payload capacity per launch of the U.S. Space Shuttle is about 25 metric tons, and that of the Saturn V, 120 metric tons.
|Von Braun Mars 1952 (Das Marsprojekt)||70||37200||1965|
|Von Braun Mars 1956 (The Exploration of Mars)||12||3400||1970|
|Stuhlinger Mars 1954–1957||20||660||1980|
|Stuhlinger Mars 1962||15||1800||1975|
|Bono Mars 1960||8||800||1971|
|NASA Lewis Mars 1960||6||614||1971|
|Martian Piloted Complex 1958–1962||6||1630||1975|
|TMK-1 1961 (flyby)||3||75||1971|
|EMPIRE Aeronutronic 1962||6||227||1970|
|EMPIRE General Dynamics 1962||8||900||1975|
|EMPIRE Lockheed 1962||3||100||1974|
|Faget Mars (heavy) 1963||6||1140|
|Faget Mars (light) 1963||6||280|
|TRW Mars Expedition 1962||6||650||1975|
|UMPIRE Douglas 1963||6||450||1975|
|Douglas MORL Mars Flyby 1965||3||360||1973|
|NASA JAG Manned Mars Flyby 1966 ||4||1975|
|NASA NERVA-Electric Mars 1966||5||1552||1986|
|Korolev KK (TMK) 1966||3||150||1980|
|Titus FLEM 1966||3||118||1985|
|Boeing IMIS 1968||6||1226||1985|
|Mars Expeditionary Complex (MEK) 1969||3||150||1980|
|Von Braun Mars 1969||12||1452||1981|
|NASA Mars Expedition 1971||6||1900||1987|
|Mars in 30 Days (Ragsdale 1972)||5||2041|
|Chelomei 1974 (MK-700 flyby)||2||250||1980|
|British Interplanetary Society Mars 1982||8||1300|
|Planetary Society Mars Expedition 1983||4||160||2003|
|Paine 1984 (Pioneering the Space Frontier)||2026|
|NASA-LANL Manned Mars Flyby 1985||358|
|NPO Energia Mars 1986||4||365||2000|
|Case for Mars II 1986||30||1900||2007|
|NASA Ride Report 1986||6||210||2004|
|NASA Mars Evolution 1988||8||330||2013|
|NASA Mars Expedition 1988||8||1628||2007|
|NASA Phobos Expedition 1988||4||765||2003|
|NASA 90 Day Study 1989||4||1300||2017|
|NPO Energia Mars 1989||4||355||2001|
|Mars Evolution 1989||5||2007|
|NASA Mars Expedition 1989||3||780||2004|
|Mars Direct (Zubrin 1991)||4||220||1997|
|STCAEM CAB 1991||4||800||2016|
|STCAEM NEP 1991||4||500||2016|
|STCAEM NTR 1991||4||800||2016|
|STCAEM SEP 1991||4||410||2016|
|NASA Synthesis Study 1991||6||1080||2014|
|International Space University 1991 ||8||2016|
|NASA Design Reference Mission 1.0 1993||6||900||2007|
|Kurchatov Mars 1994||5||800||2010|
|Zubrin Athena (flyby)||2||100||2001|
|NASA Design Reference Mission 3 1997||6||410||2011|
|NASA Mars Combo Lander 1998||4||280||2011|
|NASA Dual Lander Mission||12||600||2011|
|NASA Design Reference Mission 4 1998||6||400||2011|
|Mars Society Mission 1999||10||900||2011|
|Marspost (Gorshkov 2000)||6||400||2017|
- Colonization of Mars
- Exploration of Mars
- Manned mission to Mars
- Manned Venus Flyby
- Mars sample return mission
- Mars Expeditions & Flybys & Selected Flybys List of most manned mission projects to Mars
- Colliers Images from Colliers Magazine of the Von Braun Moon & Mars missions
- Reference Mission Version 3.0, Addedum to Human Exploration of Mars (Design Reference Mission 3.0)
- When Will We Land on Mars? by Dr. Werner Von Braun (Popular Science: March 1965) (Google Books link)
- Space Sailing, by Jerome L. Wright (Google Books link)
- Martian Moon Exploration Conference (2007)
- Future Planetary Exploration: MEPAG, OPAG, SBAG
- Space Gizmo- Concept Art
- Wandering Space : Mars
- David S. F. Portree, Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning, 1950 - 2000, NASA Monographs in Aerospace History Series, Number 21, February 2001. Available as NASA SP-2001-4521.
- O'Gallagher, J.J.; Simpson, J.A. (September 10, 1965). "Search for Trapped Electrons and a Magnetic Moment at Mars by Mariner IV". Science, New Series 149 (3689): 1233–1239. Bibcode:1965Sci...149.1233O. doi:10.1126/science.149.3689.1233. PMID 17747452.
- Smith, Edward J.; Davis Jr., Leverett; Coleman Jr., Paul J.; Jones, Douglas E. (September 10, 1965). "Magnetic Field Measurements Near Mars". Science, New Series 149 (3689): 1241–1242. Bibcode:1965Sci...149.1241S. doi:10.1126/science.149.3689.1241. PMID 17747454.
- Van Allen, J.A.; Frank, L.A.; Krimigis, S.M.; Hills, H.K. (September 10, 1965). "Absence of Martian Radiation Belts and Implications Thereof". Science, New Series 149 (3689): 1228–1233. Bibcode:1965Sci...149.1228V. doi:10.1126/science.149.3689.1228. PMID 17747451.
- Leighton, Robert B.; Murray, Bruce C.; Sharp, Robert P.; Allen, J. Denton; Sloan, Richard K. (August 6, 1965). "Mariner IV Photography of Mars: Initial Results". Science, New Series 149 (3684): 627–630. Bibcode:1965Sci...149..627L. doi:10.1126/science.149.3684.627. PMID 17747569.
- Kliore, Arvydas; Cain, Dan L.; Levy, Gerald S.; Eshleman, Von R.; Fjeldbo, Gunnar; Drake, Frank D. (September 10, 1965). "Occultation Experiment: Results of the First Direct Measurement of Mars's Atmosphere and Ionosphere". Science, New Series 149 (3689): 1243–1248. Bibcode:1965Sci...149.1243K. doi:10.1126/science.149.3689.1243. PMID 17747455.
- Salisbury, Frank B. (April 6, 1962). "Martian Biology". Science, New Series 136 (3510): 17–26. Bibcode:1962Sci...136...17S. doi:10.1126/science.136.3510.17. PMID 17779780.
- Kilston, Steven D.; Drummond, Robert R.; Sagan, Carl (1966). "A Search for Life on Earth at Kilometer Resolution". Icarus 5 (1-6): 79–98. Bibcode:1966Icar....5...79K. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(66)90010-8.
- "Von Braun Mars Expedition - 1952". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- Portree 2001, ch.1, p.1.
- astronautix manned mars missions
- Annie Platoff, Eyes on the Red Planet: Human Mars Mission Planning, 1952-1970, (1999); available as NASA/CR-2001-2089280 (July 2001)
- Beyond Apollo Planetary JAG manned Mars flyby (1966) : Planetary Exploration Utilizing a Manned Flight System, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, October 3, 1966.
- Beyond Apollo: NERVA-electric Mars ship (1966): "Study of a NERVA-Electric Manned Mars Vehicle," Ernst Stuhlinger, Joseph King, Russell Shelton, and Gordon Woodcock, A Volume of Technical Papers Presented at the AIAA/AAS Stepping Stones to Mars Meeting, pp. 288-301; paper presented in Baltimore, Maryland, March 28–30, 1966."
- Beyond Apollo: Flyby-Landing Excursion Mode (1966): "FLEM - Flyby-Landing Excursion Mode," AIAA Paper No. 66-36, R. R. Titus; paper presented at the 3rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, New York, New York, January 24–26, 1966.
- Beyond Apollo : "To Mars in 30 Days by Gas-Core Nuclear Rocket," Robert G. Ragsdale, Astronautics & Aeronautics, January 1972, pp. 65-71.
- Mark Wade - NASA-LANL Manned Mars Mission 1985 - Encyclopedia Astronautica
- Wendell W. Mendell - A Mission Design for International Manned Mars Mission (1991)
- Marspost. "December 2000 Leonid Gorshkov of RKK Energia proposed"
- Yuri Karash (18 October 2000). "Onward, to Mars! Russia needs to set a course toward the development of Mars Piloted Orbital Station". Nezavisimaya Gazeta.