A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review by Committee to Review NASA 's Exploration Technology

By Committee to Review NASA 's Exploration Technology Development Program, National Research Council

In January 2004, President George W. Bush introduced the imaginative and prescient for area Exploration (VSE), which urged NASA to 'Extend human presence around the sunlight process, beginning with a human go back to the Moon via the yr 2020, in practise for human exploration of Mars and different destinations,' between different targets. As said within the VSE, major know-how improvement could be essential to accomplish the targets it articulates.NASA's Exploration know-how improvement software (ETDP) is designed to help, enhance, and eventually give you the useful applied sciences to fulfill the objectives of the VSE. This publication, a evaluate of the ETDP, is generally supportive of the cause and pursuits of the VSE, and unearths the ETDP is making growth in the direction of the acknowledged objectives of expertise improvement. even if, the ETDP is working inside of major constraints which restrict its skill to effectively accomplish these ambitions - the nonetheless dynamic nature of the Constellation application standards, the limitations imposed through a restricted funds, the competitive time scale of early know-how deliverables, and the need to completely hire the NASA crew.

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It was mentioned that the Constellation Program Office is evaluating the risks associated with bypassing some of these tests or the eventuality of not achieving the desired TRL 6 by the PDR. This position is in direct conflict with the “Enabling Technologies” designation assigned to the CFM project by the Exploration Program Office. ) However, the committee did not see the absence of achieving a TRL of 6 as a major deficiency if an analysis of the program-level risks, underway at the time of writing, concludes that a TRL of 6 is not required.

However, if the critical risk management tools are to evolve between now and a Mars mission, NASA is encouraged to look at ways to increase safety (reliability) margins in vehicle design, not simply to improve the control and monitoring software. While this project is clearly aligned with the VSE, the approach may not be complete enough to allow a transition to future elements of the VSE without a great deal more work. 10 AUTONOMY FOR OPERATIONS Objective The primary objective of the Autonomy for Operations (A4O) project is to provide software tools to maximize productivity and minimize workload for mission operations by automating procedures, schedules of activities, and plans.

Continued development of hardware and software technology is planned, with significant milestones set for June ASSESSMENTS OF THE PROJECTS OF THE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 33 and September 2008. Technology testing and integration are ongoing, and will become the primary activity of the project in 2009 and beyond. The schedule shows ALHAT validation (TRL 5) in 2010. The technology transition plan shows that the ALHAT project will be infused into the Lunar Lander Projects Office by 2011.

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