Applying fuzzy bi-dimensional scenario-based model to the assessment of Mars mission architecture scenarios

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Sending man to Mars has been a long-held dream of humankind. NASA plans human planetary explorations using approaches that are technically feasible, have reasonable risks and have relatively low costs. This study presents a novel Multi-Attribute Decision Making (MADM) model for evaluating a range of potential mission scenarios for the human exploration of Mars. The three alternatives identified by the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) include split mission, combo lander and dual scenarios. The proposed framework subsumes the following key methods: first, the conjunction method is used to minimize the number of alternative mission scenarios; second, the Fuzzy Risk Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (RFMEA) is used to analyze the potential failure of the alternative scenarios; third, the fuzzy group Real Option Analysis (ROA) is used to estimate the expected costs and benefits of the alternative scenarios; and fourth, the fuzzy group permutation approach is used to select the optimal mission scenario. We present the results of a case study at NASA’s Johnson Space center to demonstrate: (1) the complexity of mission scenario selection involving subjective and objective judgments provided by multiple space exploration experts; and (2) a systematic and structured method for aggregating quantitative and qualitative data concerning a large number of competing and conflicting mission events.




Tavana, M. and Zandi, F. (2012) ‘Applying Fuzzy Bi-Dimensional Scenario-Based Model to the assessment of Mars Mission Architecture Scenarios,’ Advances in Space Research, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 629–647.