Establishing occupational and environmental health design requirements for Lunar and Mars settlements

Craig Earnest Litton, The University of Texas School of Public Health


In a study of Lunar and Mars settlement concepts, an analysis was made of fundamental design assumptions in five technical areas against a model list of occupational and environmental health concerns. The technical areas included the proposed science projects to be supported, habitat and construction issues, closed ecosystem issues, the "MMM" issues--mining, material-processing, and manufacturing, and the human elements of physiology, behavior and mission approach. Four major lessons were learned. First it is possible to relate public health concerns to complex technological development in a proactive design mode, which has the potential for long-term cost savings. Second, it became very apparent that prior to committing any nation or international group to spending the billions to start and complete a lunar settlement, over the next century, that a significantly different approach must be taken from those previously proposed, to solve the closed ecosystem and "MMM" problems. Third, it also appears that the health concerns and technology issues to be addressed for human exploration into space are fundamentally those to be solved for human habitation of the earth (as a closed ecosystem) in the 21st century. Finally, it is proposed that ecosystem design modeling must develop new tools, based on probabilistic models as a step up from closed circuit models.

Subject Area

Aerospace materials|Systems design|Environmental science|Occupational safety

Recommended Citation

Litton, Craig Earnest, "Establishing occupational and environmental health design requirements for Lunar and Mars settlements" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700043.