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Lunar and Planetary Surface Mission Operations and Analog Missions


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Title: Lunar and Planetary Surface Mission Operations and Analog Missions

Lunar and Planetary Surface Mission Operations
and Analog Missions
  • Space Ops 2006 Conference 21 June 2006
  • Larissa S. Arnold
  • Co-Authors Susan E. Torney, John D. (Doug) Rask,
    and Scott A. Bleisath
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

Presentation Overview
  • Introduction
  • Considerations and Challenges for Surface
    Operation Architecture
  • Analog Missions
  • Types
  • Lessons Learned
  • Lunar Sortie Surface Operations Scenario
  • Conclusion

  • Constellation Program (part of the Vision for
    Space Exploration)
  • Lunar Sortie Surface Missions ( 7 days on the
  • Lunar Outpost Surface Missions
  • Mars Surface Missions
  • Mission Objectives
  • Science and exploration
  • Operational preparation and technology testing
    for future missions
  • Re-learn how to live and work on a planetary
  • Moon is a stepping stone for the rest of the
    solar system
  • Activities associated with the crew living and
    working on the Moon
  • Mission support from the Earth
  • Operation of robotic and other remotely commanded
    equipment on the surface and in lunar orbit

Introduction (continued)
  • In order to prepare for surface operations, must
  • What will the astronauts do on the lunar surface?
  • How will they accomplish this?
  • What tools are required for the tasks?
  • How will robots and astronauts work together?
  • What vehicle and system capabilities are required
    to support these activities?
  • How will the crew and Earth-based mission control
    team interact?
  • Investigating solutions to these questions and
    many more by performing analog missions
  • Test operational concepts and task efficiency
  • Test operations tools
  • Test design, configuration, and functionality of

Surface Operations Considerations and Challenges
  • Role of Science Operations in Vehicle Design
  • Surface Activity Planning
  • Geologic Science
  • Flight Controller Roles and Responsibilities
  • EVA Suit Design
  • EVA Airlock
  • Dust Mitigation
  • Unpressurized Rover Design and Operations
  • Robotic Elements

Surface Operations Considerations and Challenges
  • Role of Science Operations in Vehicle Design
  • Historical Background
  • Space shuttle designed with a competent, flexible
    payload system
  • Apollo improved their systems over multiple
    missions in order to increase science return
  • Integration of crew and ops techniques/strategies
    into vehicle and equipment
  • Systems designed to allow ground science team
    members to have mission cognizance
  • Surface Activity Planning
  • Historical Background
  • EVAs planned out minute to minute, little time
    for deviation except for contingency (Apollo,
    Space Shuttle and ISS)
  • Location and exact configuration of every task
    and piece of hardware known in advance (Space
    Shuttle and ISS)
  • Future Operations
  • Details of location and environment not
    completely known until surface ops in progress
  • Real-time operations must allow flexibility for
    responding to unexpected discoveries
  • Daily Planning Meeting between crew, ops
    personnel and scientists to plan out next days

Surface Operations Considerations and Challenges
  • Geologic Science
  • Science operations for sortie missions include
  • Emplacing surface experiments
  • Conducting area geological surveys
  • Selecting, collecting, documenting, and
    classifying samples
  • Sortie missions similar to Apollo
  • Little time for extensive analysis because sites
    are one shot only for that particular mission
  • Limited cargo mass and volume allocated for
    sample return
  • Flight Controller Roles and Responsibilities
  • Historical Background
  • Ops Team plans and executes activities per the
    mission requirements
  • Engineering Teams provide vehicle expertise to
    validate operational plans and procedures fall
    within vehicle limits and capabilities
  • Surface Operations
  • Ops and Science Team provide long term planning
    and detailed analysis role
  • Crew and vehicles are more autonomous
  • Integrate scientific desires with operational

Surface Operations Considerations and Challenges
  • EVA Suit Design
  • Historical Background
  • EVA suits cumbersome and inflexible (Apollo)
  • Center of gravity not placed at operationally
    optimal location (Apollo)
  • Future designs
  • High mobility, durability, and dust resistance
  • Tool and EVA glove design integrated to maximize
    crew effectiveness in using tools continuously
  • EVA Airlock Design
  • Maximize operational flexibility and crew safety
  • Allows some of EVA crewmembers to remain in LSAM
    during EVA ops
  • Allows for rotation of EVA crews throughout the
  • Dust Mitigation
  • Historical Background
  • Abrasive and jams moving parts (Apollo)
  • Airlock keeps dust out of living quarters of the
  • Possible solutions
  • Mechanical brushes
  • Vacuum cleaner mechanism
  • Some electrical current to repel dust

Surface Operations Considerations and Challenges
  • Unpressurized Rover Design and Operations
  • Historical Background
  • Allowed crew to cover more surface area (Apollo)
  • Rovers extend the range and scope of operations
  • Can explore an area or get to/from a specific
  • Less consumable expenditure
  • Carry tools, equipment, and consumables
  • Robotic Elements
  • Robotic orbiter and surface robots study lunar
  • Integrated into operations planning
  • Demonstrate use as real-time EVA robotic
  • Survey sites for landing locations and outpost
    layout planning
  • Characterize local surface sites for scientific
    potential and future ISRU operations
  • Perform geologic exploration

Exploration Analog Missions
  • Earth-based missions with characteristics that
    are analogous to missions on the Moon or Mars.
  • A framework in which to exercise, evaluate, and
    refine operational concepts.
  • Opportunities to test
  • Technologies
  • Design, configuration, and functionality of
    spacesuits, robots, rovers, and habitats
  • Techniques and procedures for surface field
    geology and planetary protection
  • Categories
  • Landscape and Geology
  • Habitation
  • Science Operations
  • Engineering and Technology Field Testing

Exploration Planning and Operations Center (ExPOC)
  • A mini-mission control center (MCC) for analog
  • Flight control team positions
  • Ops Director (OPS)
  • Communications and Activities Officer (CAO)
  • Data Officer (DATA)
  • Science Officer
  • Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operator
  • Plan, train, and conduct analog missions
    (objectives, scenarios, procedures, etc.)
  • Each mission has specific lunar sortie analogies
    and applications

Surface Operation Analog Missions
  • NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations
  • NOAAs Aquarius Habitat off the coast of Florida
  • Most robust analog, encompassing all categories
  • Highlights
  • Crew lives together for 1-3 weeks
  • Crew performs tasks similar to a lunar sortie,
    including science operations and EVAs (dives)
  • Tele-medicine, tele-science, tele-robotics
    operation by ExPOC or remote PIs
  • Desert Research Technology Studies
  • (Desert RATS)
  • Arizona Desert near Meteor Crater and Cinder Lake
  • Encompasses all categories except habitation
  • Highlights
  • Multi-day science scenario selecting sample
    locations and procedures
  • ExPOC tele-operation of SCOUT rover and video
    cameras for situational awareness
  • Tests of EVA suits, rover, robotic assistants,
    science trailer, and various other support

Surface Operation Analog Missions (cont.)
  • NASA Haughton Mars Project (HMP) at Devon Island
  • Haughton Crater on Devon Island, Canada
  • Encompasses all categories except habitation
  • Highlights
  • Simulated mars time delay
  • ExPOC assisted with daily activity planning,
    traverse route planning, remote science, etc.
  • NASA Oceanographic Analog Mission Operations
  • Exploration of Atlantic and Pacific hydrothermal
    vent sites
  • Science analog emulating astrobiology research in
    the solar system
  • Highlights
  • NASA JSC Crew performed science operations
    (sample recovery, processing, and preservation)
    aboard ship
  • ExPOC coordinated the distributed international
    science team

Lessons Learned from Analog Missions
  • Human / Robotic Interaction and Situational
  • ExPOC Operation of ROV (NEEMO, Desert RATS)
  • Enhanced ExPOCs situational awareness during
    crew EVA tasks
  • During EVA ROV assistant for crew (carry tools,
    samples, etc)
  • Independent of crew site reconnaissance,
    construction work, lost item search
  • Crew time required for setup / stow / maintenance
  • ROV design considerations (NEEMO, Desert RATS)
  • Dexterity and strength to perform required tasks
  • Traverse the terrain while maintaining stability
    and mobility
  • Other systems must be designed to interact with
    ROV (comm, tools)

Lessons Learned from Analog Missions (cont)
  • Influence of Comm on Crew and MCC Roles
  • ExPOC and Crew roles with Mars time delay (NOAMA)
  • Crew responsible for real-time decisions and
    daily activity scheduling
  • No direct, real-time ExPOC assistance to crew
    during science operations
  • ExPOC planned high level crew objectives and
    updated these based on crews daily
  • ExPOC Roles
  • Coordinate the science team activities and inputs
    to the crew
  • Remote research assistant for the crew
  • Solutions to operational problems

Lessons Learned from Analog Missions (cont)
  • Mission Priorities and Work Activity Scheduling
  • Revise activities based upon significant new
    discoveries or operational contingencies.
  • Crew should have authority and flexibility to
    schedule most of their own daily activities
  • Crew schedule should have margin for real-time
    discoveries and contingencies
  • Operations and science teams will adapt long-term
    mission planning to schedule changes
  • Often underestimate the time overhead associated
    with operating in an extreme environment
  • Dust affected equipment operation (HMP, Desert
  • Less-than-expected comm bandwidth increased data
    transfer times (HMP)

Lunar Sortie Mission Scenario
General Info about Lunar Sortie
  • A week or less of intensive surface EVA ops
  • Short Duration EVAs 4 hours
  • 1 to 3 km walk / 5-10 km rover traverses
  • Long Duration EVAs 6 to 8 hours
  • 10-15 km rover traverses
  • Crew living and working out of the Lunar Surface
    Access Module (LSAM)
  • Rigorous test of the vehicles, EVA suits and
    equipment, and operational techniques
  • Maximize science return
  • Pace of activity will be intense

Lunar Surface Activities
  • Initial Surface Configuration Activities
  • LSAM systems and cabin reconfiguration for
    surface ops
  • Daily Activities
  • Postsleep
  • LSAM systems and cabin reconfiguration
  • Review of the days activities and procedures
  • Pre-sleep
  • Housekeeping
  • PAO events
  • Medical and Family Conferences
  • LSAM configuration for crew sleep
  • Surface EVAs
  • LSAM Lunar Ascent Preparations
  • Stow all equipment, experiments, and lunar
  • LSAM systems and cabin reconfiguration for ascent

Overview of Lunar Surface EVAs
  • Surface EVAs
  • Focus on Exploration science and technology
  • Sortie missions will range from 4 to 7 days.
  • May have short duration EVAs (4-6 hours) on
    landing and ascent days
  • May have longer duration EVAs (6-8 hours) on
    other days
  • IVA Tasks in support of Surface EVAs
  • Monitor equipment and timeline
  • Tele-operate robotic assistants
  • Operate experiments
  • Sample screening (if possible)
  • Maintenance and cleaning of equipment (both LSAM
    and EVA)
  • Surface Mobility Rovers
  • Provide EVA crew, tool, and geologic sample
    mobility on surface
  • Alleviate crewmember fatique
  • Reduce suit consumables
  • May provide suit consumable resupply

Lunar Surface EVA Tasks
  • EVA Surface Tasks
  • Crew Activities
  • Scout worksites for experiments to be performed
    on later EVAs or later missions
  • Types of Science activities performed
  • Survey the local surface geology by collecting
    samples and provide a verbal descriptive
  • Conduct subsurface investigation by drilling or
  • Deploy experiment packages to monitor geophysical
    and space characteristics
  • Perform technology demonstrations
  • MCC Activities
  • Monitor spacesuit consumables and suit
  • Determine some of the science sites based on
    real-time observations
  • Determine any real-time science procedure changes
  • Manage any robotic assistants
  • Activate and operate the deployed experiments

  • Exciting challenge before us to return to the
  • Moon is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar
  • Every mission is a rigorous test flight for
    vehicles, equipment, and operations processes
  • By performing analog missions and refining
    operations concepts, we begin to transform the
    Vision for Space Exploration from a set of goals
    into concrete realities of space exploration
  • As directed by the President, NASA is pursuing
    opportunities for international participation in
    the Vision for U.S. Space Exploration
  • NASA is engaged with many nations and space
    agencies in this global effort
  • We look forward to continuing our working
    relationship with our international partners in
    future exploration