Mars Direct From Omaha
The Rover is an integral element of the mission. It serves not only as the mobile element for surface exploration, but also as Bulldozer and Lifeboat. The Bulldozer configuration requires the addition to the bow of either the blade or the end-loader scoop.
Crew: Sleeps four, designed for two man operation.
Life Support: design limited to 30 days food storage space in rover. Extension of HAB CELSS. Indefinite mission duration for atmosphere and water recycling with bio-regenerative CELSS modules. Chemical backup for emergency. Limited regenerative food. Primary food is stored. Bulk wastes from CELSS are stored for recycling at HAB.
Improved Drive Train:
Original Drive Train: Six wheel independent electric motor drives (in legs) with 3 speed planetary gear system in hub. Non-inflated wire-mesh tires. Each tire can be lifted independently for ease of maintenance. Drive shafts extend from Motors to Hub-Gears.
Extremely high ground clearance to minimize risk to pressure hull and wheel base is broader then the height of the rover to reduce rollover risk.
Three independently pressurized compartments (fore, mid, aft). The rear door of the aft compartment has the hermaphroditic docking assembly to connect to another rover or a HAB hatch. The mid compartment has a door on the port side that opens onto a working porch over the tires. The forward compartment has a hatch in the overhead to allow access to the HAB while in transit or while otherwise parked in the garage. The three compartments, each with an exit allows maximum survivability in rollover, or landslide conditions. As well as triple redundancy for safe access should any one or two access become inoperable. The multiple exits also allow the simultaneous independent operations in each of the compartments.Power Source: Options
Alternate “gas station” module using large and simple microwave rectenna arrays to tap power beamed from orbiting solar thermal sterling cycle power satellites to operate ISPP outside of beam focus. These stations can be left to produce fuel and can be frequented on extended missions.