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How to Keep Your Space Vehicle Alive: Maintainability Design Principles for Deep-Space Missions  (2023)
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On past and present human space missions, the health and state of the vehicle have been primarily managed from Earth. The International Space Station (ISS) relies on frequent resupply of spare parts and other resources from visiting vehicles to maintain the vehicle, and large orbital replacement units (ORUs) can be sent back to Earth for repair. Flight Controllers in Mission Control provide crew with real-time direction and oversight for complex task execution including preventive and corrective maintenance and extravehicular activities (EVAs). Missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will experience resupply limitations and increasingly long communication delays and blackouts that drastically alter the mission operations paradigm. A small crew will need to detect, diagnose, and respond to critical events with only intermittent and limited real-time ground support [1]. Achieving human-systems resilience on future long-duration exploration missions (LDEMs) requires increased onboard capabilities [2]. This paper expands on a critical challenge for missions beyond LEO: onboard preventive and corrective maintenance. Maintainability is an essential component of human-systems resilience because it enables crewmembers to sustain and/or return critical systems to an operational state. We present best practices for designing for maintainability in extreme environments and explore emerging supportive technologies including in-situ manufacturing and augmented reality training tools.
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Aerospace, Astronaut, Autonomy, Exploration, Interplanetary, Maintainability, Maintenance, Research, Space
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In Proceedings of SpaceCHI: Human-Computer Interaction for Space Exploration (CHI ’23). June 2023
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: August 15, 2019