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Integrated Human-Robotic Missions to the Moon and Mars: Mission Operations Design ImplicationsFor most of the history of space exploration, human and robotic programs have been independent, and have responded to distinct requirements. The NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of humans to the Moon, and the eventual human exploration of Mars; the complexity of this range of missions will require an unprecedented use of automation and robotics in support of human crews. The challenges of human Mars missions, including roundtrip communications time delays of 6 to 40 minutes, interplanetary transit times of many months, and the need to manage lifecycle costs, will require the evolution of a new mission operations paradigm far less dependent on real-time monitoring and response by an Earthbound operations team. Robotic systems and automation will augment human capability, increase human safety by providing means to perform many tasks without requiring immediate human presence, and enable the transfer of traditional mission control tasks from the ground to crews. Developing and validating the new paradigm and its associated infrastructure may place requirements on operations design for nearer-term lunar missions. The authors, representing both the human and robotic mission operations communities, assess human lunar and Mars mission challenges, and consider how human-robot operations may be integrated to enable efficient joint operations, with the eventual emergence of a unified exploration operations culture.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Mishkin, Andrew
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Lee, Young
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Korth, David
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
LeBlanc, Troy
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
March 3, 2007
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Meeting Information
Meeting: 2007 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Location: Big Sky, MT
Country: United States
Start Date: March 3, 2007
End Date: March 10, 2007
Sponsors: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Distribution Limits
human robotic missions
mission operations

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