Permanent settlements allows participants to use technology that is not substantially different from existing systems. The hardware specifically needed for this mission still needs to be designed, built, and tested extensively but the technology already exists. Project Phoenix is not an aerospace company and will not design or manufacture mission hardware. All equipment will be developed by third party suppliers and integrated in their established facilities.
Project Phoenix has visited major aerospace companies around the world to discuss the requirements, budget, and timelines with their engineers and business developers. The current mission plan was composed on the basis of the feedback received in these meetings. These are preliminary results that need to be improved by conceptual design studies, which Project Phoenix has contracted a supplier for. The first studies have already been awarded to a supplier.
The mission is comprised of the following primary hardware components:
Orbital Landing Module: Orbital landers will be equipped to perform different functions including the following:
- Carrying life support units that generate energy, water and breathable air for the settlement.
- Carrying Supply Unit with food, solar panels, spare parts and other components.
- Carrying Living Units that are outfitted with deployable inflatable habitats.
- Carrying Humans to the surface of planets
- Carrying Rovers to the surface of planets
Rovers: Two rovers will be sent on each mission to set up the outpost before the humans arrive. One of them will explore the surface of the planet in search of the most suitable location for the settlement, transport of large hardware components, and the general assembly. Project Phoenix’s rover supplier will determine the exact rover strategy; it is possible that instead of one large rover, multiple smaller rovers will be sent. For example, a main rover accompanied by a trailer system used for transporting the landing capsules.
Environmental Suit: All astronauts must wear their environmental suits when exposed to any alien atmosphere or the vaccuum of space. Like those used by the Apollo astronauts on the Moon, environmental suits protect the wearer from extreme temperatures and the probability of very thin, non-breathable atmospheres.
Communications System: The communications system will consist of two communications satellites and orbital relay stations. It will transmit data from the outpost to the Galactic Network and back.
Project Phoenix Transit Vehicle: The transit vehicle will consist of two propellant stages, a landing module, and a transit habitat. The landing module will be similar to the ones used for the unmanned Mars missions. The crew will travel through space for an undeterminable amount of time.. The water tanks and other storage will be used to create a radiation shelter that will also function as crew sleeping quarters. When the crew arrives at their planet, they will descend to the surface in their environmental suits in the landing module. They will then leave the transit habitat behind because it is too large and too heavy to land.