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Designing Mission Operations for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory MissionNASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, to understand the internal structure and thermal evolution of the Moon, offered unique challenges to mission operations. From launch through end of mission, the twin GRAIL orbiters had to be operated in parallel. The journey to the Moon and into the low science orbit involved numerous maneuvers, planned on tight timelines, to ultimately place the orbiters into the required formation-flying configuration necessary. The baseline GRAIL mission is short, only 9 months in duration, but progressed quickly through seven very unique mission phases. Compressed into this short mission timeline, operations activities and maneuvers for both orbiters had to be planned and coordinated carefully. To prepare for these challenges, development of the GRAIL Mission Operations System began in 2008. Based on high heritage multi-mission operations developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin, the GRAIL mission operations system was adapted to meet the unique challenges posed by the GRAIL mission design. This paper describes GRAIL's system engineering development process for defining GRAIL's operations scenarios and generating requirements, tracing the evolution from operations concept through final design, implementation, and validation.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
External Source(s)
Havens, Glen G.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Beerer, Joseph G.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 26, 2015
Publication Date
June 11, 2012
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Meeting Information
Meeting: SpaceOps 2012
Location: Stockholm
Country: Sweden
Start Date: June 11, 2012
End Date: June 15, 2012
Sponsors: Swedish Space Corp., Korea Aerospace Research Inst., Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
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