Thales Alenia Space & ESA – European Space AgencyLSG team
Norbert Frischauf, Sandra Häuplik-Meusburger, Waltraut Hoheneder, Barbara Imhof, Kürsad Özdemir, Susmita Mohanty, Stephen Ransom, René WaclavicekCollaborators
Max Grüter (sketch-up models)Abstract
This report was produced under contract with ESA and Thales Alenia Space and sought to analyze parameters and design constraints for a mobile research laboratory as surface architecture applicable to the Moon and Mars.
The aim was to create a concept in memory of the late science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clark’s novel Rendezvous with Rama; whereas RAMA now serves as an acronym for Rover for Advanced Mission Applications and/or Rover for Advanced Moon Applications and/or Rover for Advanced Mars Applications.
RAMA was designed to meet scientific and operational requirements defined in the Surface Architecture Study and meets environmental criteria for surface exploration of the Moon and Mars.
The Rover for Advanced Mission Applications is designed as a pressurized vehicle that will serve astronauts as a habitat, refuge and research laboratory/workshop while they transverse the surface of extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Fundamental issues such as Habitability, Human-machine Interface, Safety, Dust Mitigation, Inter-planetary Contamination and Radiation Protection are addressed in this report as well as factored into the design of RAMA.
The vehicle is designed to accommodate a crew of two or three for the duration of approximately 40 days. It is fueled by a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen fuel cell which permits operation during the day and through the night. There is the capacity for RAMA to be recharged at a fixed base or a mobile base; the rover in all cases will be re-fuelled using the products supplied by an in-situ resources facility. It is equipped with Guidance, Navigation and Obstacle Avoidance Systems which are foreseen as standard equipment for safe travel over rough terrain. In addition RAMA is fitted with more specialized equipment such as a Remote Manipulator to collect surface samples, deploy surface instruments/equipment and to assist the astronauts’ field activities.
The size and mass of the rover is largely determined by transportation and surface exploration requirements, where factors most affecting the mass are fuel cell reactants, crew consumables and radiation shielding. RAMA has a launch mass of approximately 7000 kg, a dry mass of about 6200 kg and surface mission masses between 7800 and 8300 kg.
Also included in the RAMA report are descriptions of the technologies and subsystems required to support this vehicle and its crew in space exploration.
image RAMA on Mars in 2045, © LIQUIFER Systems Group/René Waclavicek rendering, background courtesy of NASA, 2008 / thumbnail © LIQUIFER Systems Group