Researchers propose "multi-mission campaigns" as a new approach to optimize the efficiency of space mission planning.
"The earth is the cradle of humanity,
but one can not remain in the cradle forever"
] – Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky
As one of the three founding fathers of modern astronautics and rocketry Tsiolkovsky had high hopes in the ability of mankind to challenge space.
When he died in 1935, there were still a couple of decades before the rockets began to make space history.
Escape from Earth's gravitational pull and venture into interplanetary space proved to be difficult but possible.
Almost sixty years after the first human being left Earth's orbit, and approximately fifty years after the first trip to Luna the planning of the space mission is not yet a walk.
The complex logistics of space travel is based on two main factors: how much [1 9459011] time a space mission would take to reach a destination, and how much fuel and other supplies would it need for that .
Space mission planning for more efficient space travel
Although a space program encompasses multiple missions, each space mission is planned and maintained alone in terms of direct logistics.
However, space engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign claim that multi -mission planning is a more efficient use of the time, fuel and other resources needed to every flight
Koki Ho assistant professor at UIUC Department of Aerospace Engineering working on the optimization of space systems .
Ho and two of his graduate students, Hao Chen and Bindu Jagannatha, set out to create a framework to optimize the use of space mission resources, including vehicle design.  To do that, they researched the design of the planned missions of the past and performed computer simulations.
According to Ho, and based on what we have today, the solution for an efficient planning of the space mission is to abandon the one- Mission at a time Model:
"Una The way to do it is to consider campaign designs, that is, multiple missions together, not just throwing everything from the ground for each mission as Apollo did … In a multi-mission campaign, previous missions are used for later missions. , if a previous mission deployed some infrastructure, such as a deposit of propellants, or if the work had begun to extract oxygen from the ground on the moon, those are used in the design of the next mission " said Ho .
The team even proposes that spacecraft designs be an integral part of the campaign to obtain maximum efficiency.
In addition to redesigning the vehicles, Ho also suggests what he calls " propellant deposits ", strategically located along the way.
Preparatory missions using low-thrust thruster systems would carry fuel and other supplies for upcoming manned missions using high-thrust systems due to lack of available time.
Ho published two studies that cover the proposed framework. You can read them here in Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets: 1, 2 .
"I walk ahead of you," says Musk
Elon Musk and SpaceX's plan for colonizing Mars with the BFR rocket already plans to take advantage of a multiple mission framework.
In fact, the first BFRs sent to Mars in 2022 will be used to create a space station that orbits Mars. From here, all subsequent missions will be coupled to the space station, replenished and added to the station before heading to the surface of Mars to begin the construction of the space colony.
Read more: What was lost from Elon Musk BFR, Mars colonization announcement
If everything goes according to plan, all BFR missions will help each other simultaneously while Musk and SpaceX work towards goal of 1,000,000 colonists on Mars at least by the middle of this century.
Do you think this multi-mission planning proposal would accelerate the trip to Mars and beyond?