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Transforming the operations paradigm of space exploration  (2011)
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The international Space community has become comfortable over the years with a model of operations that is based on verbal delegation of operations control from a mission control center based on Earth. This model requires near-constant telemetry regarding the status of the vehicle, as well as tasks on-board. The future long-duration exploration missions being considered will require significant changes in this operational paradigm, adjusting to situational realities, capitalizing on the evolution that has occurred in vehicle autonomous health management, and maximizing the time crewmembers can devote to exploration.

NASA has created an exploration strategy aimed at multiple destinations, utilizing multiple assets during operations, and increasing both the distance to exploration objectives and the duration of exploration flights. While developing the Lunar Malapert Excursion as a reference mission, our team began to understand that transitioning the world’s space operations community from the current paradigm of near constant and all-inclusive vehicle status and task reporting, to a more autonomous self-management paradigm, would take both time and clear explanation of the benefits of the new approach.

The new paradigm will take advantage of advances in health management systems and operational planning tools that allow on-board operators the ability to self-manage a significant set of decision parameters, allowing crew the independence to set priorities and adapt their exploration activities as necessary for their situation.
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exploration, operations, paradigm, space, Transforming
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Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 5-12, 2011
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019