In a space mission, how many people are needed in the space vehicle?


Jul 30, 2021
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Hi! So I've been trying to find the answer through web surfing but can't seem to get a clear answer.

How many people are needed for a "standard" space flight? And how is this number of people determined?

The specific mission I have in mind is one where humans and raw or finished goods get back and forth from an asteroid.

So far I've seen the number range between 2 and 6. I would appreciate further and more knowledgeable insight!

Just guessing, but a Commander, a pilot, whose specialty is flying the ship. Can the Commander or pilot act as navigator? For long term flights, engineering specialist for the propulsion and life support. Mission specialist for the payload. The Commander can probably back up the others in a pinch. Someone should also be cross-trained to paramedic level.
Apr 23, 2021
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I guess it would depend on the mission and the type of vehicle involved The Apollo moon landing missions were a crew of 3 a Commander ,a CSM pilot and a LEM pilot. During the shuttle era a typical crew consisted of a Commander, a pilot, two mission specialist and anywhere from 1-4 "Payload Specialist" so it really was determined by the individual mission.
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The asteroids are good. I imagine 8, increasing Orion's volume by 4x with an alumina hull and ion engines, for a one-way (ship) to Jupiter. A pilot. A doctor. A nanotecher. An electrical and ion engine systems mechanic. A miner (if lander science not there) or in-situ caves, construction engineer. A laser and radar communications expert. Power source expert.
I'll assume it is a ship made on Callisto, to set up an ion mine in an asteroid, and maybe supply a forest asteroid with ions, before flitting to Mars orbit. So NASA meets the ship at Mars orbit from Earth-system and we hit two asteroids. We bring a biologist and hopefully found water at Jupiter for a small coralline algae aquarium. A doctor with a vertigo or gait specialty. Solar power engineer at Mars sunlight. Pilot. A maneuvering rocket specialist (3 sensor anti-micrometeorite drones piloted). Explosives expert, to get to the ions. General vacuum mechanic. I count seven for a mission to two asteroids. Assuming hydrogen bearing ice armor from Jovian to deal with some radiation risks.
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One pilot could specialize in resource constraints and c issues, the other could land and know how to avoid impacts, shift payload while thrusting and judging g health-stress on crew. A 1st rescue mission might fail: doctor is always there. Heat or electricity can be turned into many things, so some sort of energy specialist if only to give the best spark for a fuel. Two for a tugboat or Yeagar mission, but to actually accomplish science or engineering 4 with one pilot and 5 with two. Waiting for rescue is safer with at least one nanotecher to perform alchemy with limited resources. Waiting for VASIMR is almost the same but electron don't take Jupiter and maybe Saturn radiation well. You can't shield radiation well without a hydrogen ice you might find on an asteroid.