Returning to LEO: Extensive Solution
The ascent vehicle (Falcon) is the only system that will leave the Martian surface.
The Falcon's liquid propulsion engine will carry enough fuel down to the Martian surface
to return itself to LMO. This ascent will require a delta v of 4.4 km/s to escape the
Martian atmosphere. The crew will bring at most 200kg of samples and some
essential experimental equiptment onto the Falcon. Upon leaving Mars, the Falcon will use the
surface habitat as a launch pad and the habitat will be destroyed during Falcon ascent.
After rendezvous with the Transfer Habitat in LMO, the Falcon will dock to the Transfer Habitat
for its journey home. This flight will use nuclear propulsion on a Hohmann transfer with a
total delta v of 13.8 km/s to LEO. Soyuz retrieval missions will be deployed to return personnel
and samples to Earth.