A--EXPLORATION SYSTEMS ENTERPRISE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
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EXPLORATION SYSTEMS ENTERPRISE
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
Which has been posted here as well. - LRK -
EXPLORATION SYSTEMS ENTERPRISE
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
Issue(s): What lessons have been learned from our previous operational robotic and human exploration activities?
Suggested paper topics. What lessons have been learned from our robotic and human exploration of the Moon, robotic exploration of Mars, STS, ISS, and other low rate production and flight programs which may be applicable to the new Nation’s vision? What lessons have been learned from attempts to achieve technology infusion and incorporation of enhancements? Discuss good and bad approaches to requirements formulation, development, flight operations and acquisition strategies (including structure and maintenance of relationship with industry). For example, if the Apollo program were repeated today, what would we do the same, and what would we do differently?
Issue(s): What is a ‘sustainable’ approach to human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO)?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the broad topic of how ‘human and robotic exploration’ may be ‘sustainable’ within the processes of a democratic society and in the context of anticipated commercial space roles and international cooperation. For example, one potential aspect of a ‘politically sustainable’ approach would be relatively ‘steady’ or ‘regular’ annual or multi-year budgeting. (In other words, one aspect of a ‘politically sustainable’ approach would be that it does not require occasional drastic increases in NASA annual budgets.) Another aspect of a ‘politically sustainable’ approach might be that it does not involve undue and/or unjustified risk of loss of human life. Place particular emphasis on issues related to affordability, reliability (and safety), and effectiveness in achieving mission goals. How can international cooperation be best used to assure cost-effective and sustainable development and operation of exploration systems? Consider a sustainable approach in the context of a national exploration policy with government agency cooperation and commercial space roles.
Issue(s): What is an ‘affordable’ approach to human space exploration beyond LEO?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the general challenge of “affordability” for future ambitious human and robotic space exploration. Examine issues associated with the ‘per vehicle’ cost of potential CEV approaches, the ‘per mission’ cost of potential mission costs using these CEV options, and the ‘per campaign’ cost of human lunar and Martian exploration (or other exploration campaigns). Assessments of the relationship of applied technologies, hardware, operations and launch costs to affordability are of particular interest. Investments in development that reduce operations costs are also of interest. With particular emphasis on lunar exploration, analyze the conditions that would be necessary to achieve human lunar mission costs consistent with the FY2005-2020 budget runout defined in the Vision for U.S. Space Exploration and FY2005 President’s Budget request. Where possible, it may be instructive to relate projected budgets for per-mission costs of human lunar missions to the current per-mission costs for Space Shuttle missions. Identify key architectures, mission profiles, and external contexts (i.e. NASA, government or commercial activities) that drive cost trades between expendable and reusable systems.
Issue(s): What is a ‘safe and reliable’ approach to human space exploration beyond LEO?
Suggested paper topics. Analyze the limits on reliability and safety, at the ‘campaign level’ (i.e., multiple missions over a number of years), the ‘mission level’ (i.e., multiple phases within a single mission), and the ‘system level” (i.e., for a specific system within a particular architecture). With particular emphasis on lunar exploration, analyze the conditions that would yield human lunar mission risks consistent with (1) current Space Shuttle per mission risks, and (2) a factor-of-ten improvement in per mission risk below current Space Shuttle per mission risks, and (3) a factor-of-ten increase in per mission risk above current Space Shuttle per mission risks. Discuss crew escape, return and/or safe haven options during all mission phases for a notional lunar exploration mission scenario. Discuss potential approaches to risk analysis and risk management through all program phases using multiple Safety, Reliability and Mission Assurance tools such as Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). This discussion should include a conceptual phase risk profile, integrated risk planning and human rating requirements. Look at alternative approaches to managing risk, such as adopting best practices as a standard against which improvements are measured. Assess functional redundancy with alternative designs.
Issue(s):How can technological and interface complexities be designed out of the CEV and associated systems?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the potential for a CEV that provides the crew transportation function with a minimal number of active systems. Using Apollo as a baseline, what deltas could be made to improve that design using available, proven, reliable technologies without compromising the basic design philosophies originally applied to it?
Issue(s): What is an ‘effective’ approach to human space exploration beyond LEO?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the potential drivers and benefits of various types of human and robotic exploration infrastructures and systems, including benefits to non-NASA/non-exploration space missions and operations. In these terms, assess the potential effectiveness of various CEV concepts. In terms of effectiveness of the transportation system, the ‘gold standard’ may be stated as repeatable, precise, affordable access to global sites on the Moon with payloads adequate to ambitious human and robotic activities (consistent with ‘profound’ advances over currently achievable capabilities).
Issue(s): Are there any reasonable goals for ‘reusability’ in future human space exploration systems and operations?
Suggested paper topics. Analyze the key issues associated with reusability of a specific candidate exploration systems—including the CEV—including cases of “no reusability” (e.g., an Apollo-type approach), to “moderate reuse” (e.g., use of a system for several ‘phases’ of a single mission, but no reuse for more than one missions, to “significant reuse” (e.g., use of specific system across more than one mission, but not all); to “reusable architectures” (e.g., use of the major of systems across more than one mission). Consider cost trades and the effects of obsolescence on reusable systems. Assess the operational concepts, infrastructure needs, and technological advances that are required to enable system reusability. What traffic model warrants reusability?
Issue(s):How can NASA develop an integrated approach to managing engineering data and design information pertaining to systems designed and developed under Project Constellation?
Suggested paper topics: The new Exploration Vision will be accomplished through a diverse range of systems developed over many years by a wide variety of contractors. Furthermore, the spiral development model will result in incremental development and continual improvement of the systems. What techniques should NASA use in its acquisition processes to ensure that engineering data and design information is maintained and updated throughout the lifecyle of a system? How can NASA retain design rationale information about critical design decisions to ensure that this information can be appropriately considered in future enhancements? How can NASA capture the knowledge of expert engineers so the information is retained after these individuals leave the program and move onto other opportunities? What approaches need to be take to ensure that critical design and test information is shared across contractors where appropriate to ensure an integrated view of critical system information?
RFI Focus Area: Crosscutting Design Drivers and Architecture Elements
Issue(s): What is the relationship of the applicable mission model and/or utilization of Project Constellation systems to the life cycle viability of various conceptual approaches?
Suggested paper topics:Identify potential drivers resulting from variations in the “Mission Model” that may impact other aspects of the trade space (e.g., number of Lunar missions needed to allow reusability to be ‘cost-effective’. Identify candidate ‘non-human exploration’ missions that might benefit from use of general and/or specific human exploration systems and infrastructures.What are the impacts if CEV is used to transport crews to ISS? Examine variations of applicability of human exploration systems to different elements of candidate future missions models as a function of the systems and technologies involved in those systems. For example, in-space assembly, refueling, etc.—if used for Project Constellation—might be beneficial for various missions (civil, commercial, and defense-related). Identify how robotic missions can demonstrate technologies, systems, and operations concepts as pathfinders for future human missions. Also identify any past robotic missions that demonstrated capabilities that could be infused into human planetary surface operations concepts.
Issue(s): What are the pros and cons of using a single system for both in-space transportation and access to the lunar surface? Multiple systems? How many?
Suggested paper topics. Examine the central issues associated with “commonality” among in-space and lunar surface excursion crew exploration vehicles. What is the right allocation of functionality to architectural/vehicle elements for near-term lunar and longer-term Mars missions? For example, the Apollo architecture used two crew-carrying vehicles (the Apollo Command Module with service module, and the Lunar Excursion Module, descent and ascent stages) to transport crew and mission cargo from LEO to the Moon and back to LEO. Address from both a vehicle level and a systems level.
Issue(s): What are the pros and cons of using a single family of systems for both lunar human mission transportation and Mars human mission transportation? If commonality across lunar and Mars exploration phases is possible, for which system elements of the initial lunar architecture might reuse for Mars be desirable? With what modifications and/or evolutionary system improvements?
Suggested paper topics. The Nation’s vision calls for the use of the Moon as a test bed for future exploration missions to Mars and beyond. Address the issues and opportunities associated with possible ‘commonality’ among systems for lunar exploration and for Mars exploration. Identify the benefits, risks, and cost for implementing the Moon as a test bed versus alternative approaches. In particular, address the potential opportunities and issues associated with ‘reusing’ a specific lunar CEV systems approach (developed for initial Moon missions in the 2015-2020 timeframe) for Mars missions (to be used no earlier than 2030). Pay particular attention to the timing of the introduction of block upgrades to existing systems and re-use of systems and subsystems below moldlines. Connect timing for block upgrades that will incorporate and test technologies required for Mars to a schedule for initial lunar missions.
Issue(s): What is an appropriate size of the nominal crew of the initial CEV that would enable human space exploration beyond LEO (specifically, lunar surface missions longer in duration than those undertaken in the Apollo campaign)?
Suggested paper topics. Recognizing that the Moon will be used as a testbed for the first Mars exploration missions, how should that influence the crew size for the first CEV? Discuss the potential drivers and benefits of various sizes of human crews for a typical lunar mission. Include a discussion of the expected role of the human crew in the overall concept of operations for lunar and Mars missions, including their role in scientific activities, crew health and safety considerations, mission operations, mission systems repair, and maintenance. Examine the sensitivity of crew size to different assumptions regarding safety, autonomy, robotics, etc. In these terms, assess the potential “cost-effectiveness” and “risk-effectiveness” of various CEV concepts. In particular, what is the sensitivity of mission cost to crew size? What effect, if any, does the separation of crew and cargo have on varying CEV crew sizes?
HUMAN-ROBOTIC COLLABORATION AND INTERFACES
Issue(s): What is the best approach to functional decomposition of responsibility for specific mission requirements based on the relative characteristics and capabilities of robots and humans? In planning for planetary surface operations of evolving complexity, how should an infrastructure of human and robotic systems be developed to ensure flexible and effective operations? How should interfaces between human and robotic systems be defined and operated, in terms of control, communication, flow of data, mechanical and electromechanical interaction, and other system functions?
Suggested paper topics: Discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of humans and robots in performing specific tasks and describe techniques for determining an appropriate allocation of tasks. Identify approaches for human-robot interaction that improve the reliability and effectiveness of both elements. Illustrate examples of collaborative human-robotic operations that have increased reliability and effectiveness while reducing cost and risk.
Issue(s): What are reasonable goals for ‘intelligence and/or autonomy’ in future human space exploration systems and operations? What effect does a reasonably achievable level of autonomy have on the role of crew and machines? How can humans be augmented by machines to make crews as effective as possible on these missions?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the potential role of ‘systems autonomy’ in achieving low life cycle operations costs without sacrificing reliability and/or effectiveness. Discuss the impact of “operations at a distance with speed of light limited delays” and how experience with similar earth-based analogs (i.e., submarines) might be applied. Analyze the relationship between operations costs and mission models. In particular, identify and examine approaches that could enable significant reductions in mission operations costs by reducing the number of personnel in operations and/or sustaining engineering who must be retained in between missions. Discuss aspects of supporting communications and navigation infrastructure, including the potential role of Earth-based, Earth orbit-based, lunar orbit-based, and/or surface based communications and navigation aides. Identify ground-based test-beds and analog environments that could be utilized for system test and demonstration.
Issue(s):Apollo, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station have used the concepts of extensive preflight mission planning and training to prepare the flight crews for the entire mission. In addition, all have used around-the-clock ground operations in support of the space missions while in-flight. How can mission operations be evolved to meet the light phase-delay and cost-effectiveness requirements for supporting crews in long duration space flight?
Suggested paper topics. With the longer duration missions, more remote destinations (longer communication delays), and improvements in technology and systems, discuss the significant changes in the business as usual approach we can make in the day-to-day operations of supporting an Exploration Team mission. Other papers will address various aspects of this problem (automation, complexity, affordability). This paper will address how all of these factors come together to improve the overall ability of the ground team to support the flight crews in their mission. The topic should discuss pitfalls of previous programs’ abilities to meet efficiency goals, past advancements in real-time mission operations support, lessons learned from extended ISS Expedition missions, and identify the key drivers in the Constellation Project that need to be addressed to significantly improve the mission operations abilities to support operations. Discussions need to include the pre-flight and in-flight mission planning processes, the pre-flight crew training as well as maintaining in-flight crew proficiencies over long duration missions, and spacecraft systems management.
Issue(s): What is an appropriate size of the nominal “payload” (i.e., mission related equipment , habitats, in space transfer stages, landers, and/or logistics in addition to the crew) of the initial CEV and supporting systems that would enable human space exploration beyond LEO? Identify key criteria and implications for dividing crew and cargo launch requirements, in relation to the Shuttle CAIB recommendation for maximizing separation of crew and cargo.
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the potential drivers and benefits of various sizes of payloads, including (see CAIB below) separation of crews and payloads for a typical lunar mission. Include a discussion of the expected types of payloads in the overall concept of operations, including their role in scientific activities, crew health monitoring, mission operations and mission systems repair and maintenance. Examine the sensitivity of payload size to different assumptions regarding refueling, separation of crew and cargo, autonomy, robotics, etc. In these terms, assess the potential “cost-effectiveness” and “risk-effectiveness” of various approaches to payloads. In particular, what is the sensitivity of safety and mission cost to payload size? What effect, if any, does the separation of crew and cargo (see below) have on varying CEV payload sizes? If on-orbit assembly is required, how does it affect CEV EVA requirements?
MASS REDUCTION IN STRUCTURES
Issue(s): Large reductions in mass required for lung duration deployments on the Moon and Mars may be enable some otherwise challenging mission scenarios.
Suggested paper topics. Discuss options for providing long-duration habitable structures on the Moon and Mars, through application of new technologies such as inflatable or underground structures. Describe an appropriate test program for validating the technologies along with any additional infrastructure required to assemble and operate the structures.
Issue(s): Are there any elements within Project Constellation that might offer economic or other benefits from being refueled and/or re-supplied?
Suggested paper topics. For reusable CEV concepts, analyze key issues associated with refueling of the CEV and supporting systems. In particular, identify the principle issues and options involving the benefits of in-space refueling and/or re-supply. Also, identify and assess the systems that would enable deep space refueling and re-supply to be cost-effective; these should include systems and technologies necessary for the cost-effective pre-positioning of fuel and/or other logistics (in low Earth orbit (LEO), beyond LEO (e.g., in the Earth-Moon Libration Point (L1)), or at the Moon (e.g., in lunar orbit or on the lunar surface. Examine the opportunities and challenges associated with introducing in situ resources for refueling and re-supply. How would their availability change mission architectures for lunar and Martian exploration?
Issue(s): What are the pros and cons of designing future systems that comprise Project Constellation to be repaired and/or maintained in space?
Suggested paper topics. For all types of CEV concepts, analyze key issues associated with allowing for repair and maintenance of the CEV and supporting systems. In particular, identify the principle issues and options involving the benefits of in-space repair and/or maintenance. Discuss how methods for detecting failures could be applied prior to actual failure. Also, identify and assess the systems that would enable deep space repair and maintenance to be cost-effective; these should include systems and technologies necessary for the cost-effective pre-positioning of supporting systems and/or other related systems, such as spares (in low Earth orbit (LEO), beyond LEO (e.g., in the Earth-Moon Libration Point (L1)), or at the Moon (e.g., in lunar orbit or on the lunar surface). Examine also the opportunities and challenges associated with introducing in situ resources for repair and maintenance.
Issue(s): What are the pros and cons of designing future systems that comprise Project Constellation to be assembled in space?
Suggested paper topics. Analyze key issues associated with allowing for in-space assembly of the CEV, JIMO, and Project Constellation supporting systems, addressing risks relative to mission profiles that do not include in-space assembly. Identify the principle issues and options involving the risks and benefits of in-space assembly, for future exploration missions constrained to EELV and/or heavy-lift launch options. Also, identify and assess the systems that would enable deep space assembly of systems to be cost- and risk- effective; these should include systems and technologies necessary for the cost-effective pre-positioning of system elements, such as landing elements of a lunar surface infrastructure separately, with the use of ‘lunar surface rendezvous and docking’ rather that ‘all integrated’ landed systems (e.g., as in Apollo). Similarly, discuss in-space assembly at other venues beyond LEO (e.g., in the Earth-Moon Libration Point, L1,), or at the Moon (e.g., in lunar orbit, such as the lunar orbit rendezvous used in Apollo), or elsewhere. Relate in-space assembly to issues and opportunities associated with launch systems, in-space repair and maintenance, refueling and re-supply, and others. Identify requirements on CEV that are affected by these options, such as the level of EVA required.
Issue(s):What would be candidate technical approaches (as well as estimated timelines and costs) for the development and flight qualification of an initial space fission-power system for a robotic science mission that would lead to, or serve as, a risk reduction demonstration for future nuclear fission systems for human exploration?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the challenge of affordability and the development of nuclear systems, within a framework of a series of missions enabled by fission power, each building on the next, leading from robotic missions to human missions to the Moon and Mars. Suggest a notional development scheme leading to a human trip to Mars in 2030, assuming a nuclear-powered propulsion system and a nuclear power station on the Martian surface. Address issues such as spacecraft initial mass in low Earth orbit, alpha (kg/kWe), power level, Isp, and trip time. Address strategies for integrating the capabilities of industry and the government (DOE and NASA) to optimally accomplish nuclear systems development.
Identify two or more conceptual approaches for consideration in the development of a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and/or other system elements that could be incorporated into Project Constellation. Relate these systematically to the options for architectures and operations (under all relevant major variations) identified above. Detailed analyses and design studies are not required, however quantitative assessments sufficient to justify major observations and/or findings stated elsewhere in the white paper are desired. In particular, discuss what would be a reasonable and achievable CEV system demonstration in the 2008 timeframe: What key CEV capabilities would be validated by means of the demonstration? How does the CEV evolve from 2011 to 2014? What integrated vehicle health management systems and technologies will be required to assure crew safety during ascent? What type of test program should be employed leading up to the first lunar landing?
Issue(s): What are potential technology combinations that will provide a robust power system for the human exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars, with potential of day-night, all weather, all latitude operation?
Suggested paper topics: Identify conceptual systems that could provide 50 kWe power to human habitats for 40-day human expeditions on the Moon and Mars, and continuous power for robotic systems when humans are not present. Candidate systems could include combinations of nuclear fission reactors, regenerable fuel cells, photovoltaic arrays, rechargeable batteries, and radioisotope power systems to provide a highly reliable power system. Redundancy schemes should be identified to ensure a minimum level of power in the event that system components degrade. Address strategies for dust mitigation for arrays and radiators, as well as expected weather complications on the surface of Mars. Also address the impact of cosmic radiation on power subsystems. Discuss system voltage requirements to reduce the size of transmission lines. Address commonality of components between Moon and Mars architectures in the context of a lunar expedition that would serve as a risk-reduction capability for a Mars expedition.
Suggested paper topics: Discuss the pros and cons of concepts such as nuclear thermal, multi-megawatt nuclear electric, or hybrid (example, bimodal NTP) propulsion systems. Include topics such as current technology state of the art, development needed to meet future requirements on reactor fuel system, cladding, core cooling components, instrumentation and control, as well as for high-temperature and unique materials. What are the realistic expectations that such systems can be developed by 2025 to support Mars missions in the 2030s? What investment level would be required to realize a mature system? What test program would be contemplated for a system of this nature, given that it would eventually be human rated? What facility investment strategy would be required?
Issue(s): What are the pros and cons of each of the major viable approaches to Earth-to-orbit (ETO) transportation for future human space exploration?
Suggested paper topics. Identify the major options for ETO transport for Project Constellation, including existing launchers (e.g., evolved expendable launch vehicles (EELV) in the 20 mT payload to LEO class, upgraded versions of existing launchers (e.g., upgraded EELV) in the 30-40 mT payload to LEO class, heavy lift launch vehicles (HLLV) in the 60-80 mT class, and super-HLLVs, in the greater-than-100 mT payload to LEO class. Discuss the potential drivers resulting from variations in the ETO launch systems that may impact other aspects of the trade space (e.g., the role of in-space assembly in cases in which a heavy lift launch vehicle (HLLV) is not available). Identify key technologies or system augmentations that will be required to provide integrated vehicle health management capable of assuring crew safety on manned launches. Identify candidate ‘non-human exploration’ missions that might benefit from use of general and/or specific human exploration ETO systems and infrastructures. Examine issues associated with human rating of ETO systems. Relate ETO launch infrastructure assumptions explicitly to CAIB findings and recommendations (see below)—including the optimal separation of crew and cargo.
EVA TECHNOLOGY & ADVANCED CONCEPTS
Issue(s): What technologies and system designs can be used to ensure maximum capability and safety for humans conducting extra-vehicular activity (EVA) in surface and space environments? How should EVA system designs be optimized to permit interface with separate enabling robotic systems? What are the key technical performance metrics and criteria that can be used to assess the desirability of any given EVA system?
Suggested paper topics: Technologies should include ideas such as supporting information, computation, and data systems; exoskeletons to support weight; lightweight materials and components; strength augmentation; built-in sensors; mobility enhancements; robotic augmentation, etc.
REUSABILITY VERSUS LIMITED-USE FOR SPACE SUIT LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM COMPONENTS
Issue(s): What is the right mix of reusable versus limited or one-time use items for exploration architectures for space suit components?
Suggested paper topics: Examine the trade space for space suit components and accompanying life support system technologies and space suit design. Is an exploration architecture with limited mission requirements better served with generic suit and component sizing or sizes tailored to the crew member? Does this answer change with crew size? For life support components, what is the trade off between reusable systems in the suits and their support equipment in the exploration vehicles/habitation? Could a launch and entry suit or its components be combined with an EVA suit or components? How do these issues fold into safety, reliability, maintainability and logistics concerns?
RFI Focus Area: Program Management, Acquisition, and Interfaces
Issue(s): How can we achieve flexibility and a process for the ongoing evolution of high-level requirements, while managing ‘fixed’ detailed requirements system-by-system?
Suggested paper topics. Over time, the high-level requirements for future exploration systems will evolve as new technologies are proven, ongoing development project designs are ‘firmed up,’ hardware is completed, and/or scientific discoveries point the program in different directions. Discuss the various options for requirements formulation and evolution. Examine the option of open system architecture for exploration systems, and discuss any plausible alternatives that achieve the same functionality. Identify issues and opportunities related to commercial and/or international collaboration in future exploration efforts in terms of NASA’s approach to requirements formulation and evolution.
Issue(s):What is the right approach for ensuring system of systems integration for the Nation's Vision?
Suggested paper topics: Discuss options for an integration strategy and function for the exploration system of systems, including the appropriate role(s) and relationship(s) of industry and government. Describe lessons-learned from government-led integration efforts versus industry-led integration efforts. Describe approaches to ensuring adequate integration across multiple stakeholders and hardware developers. Discuss the pros and cons of employing a systems integration contractor that is also responsible for developing system hardware. Describe a systems integration approach that takes into consideration the long-term developmental and operational nature of this activity. Describe the role of modeling and simulation in the systems integration function, addressing any demonstrated novel techniques and approaches that could result in reduced risk during the integration activities.
Issue(s): What is the right acquisition strategy for a multi-decade space exploration strategy?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the various options for acquisition strategy, including the acquisition of key system developments (including demonstrations), mission systems, operations, and integration. In particular, suggest how the U.S. Department of Defense-formulated concept of “spiral development” might best be applied to the acquisition challenges of a long-term space exploration program. Identify issues and opportunities related to commercial and/or international collaboration in future exploration efforts in terms of NASA acquisition strategy. Discuss options on the use of special contractual arrangements, awards, and incentive structures that may be used to enhance participation and encourage performance. What level of oversight/insight should NASA maintain to monitor contractor progress? Consider the advantages and disadvantages of a NASA Prime approach to systems integration.
Discuss the appropriate ‘state of the art’ program and project management tools that could and should be brought to bear in implementing Project Constellation and the Space Exploration Vision. Include standard tools, metrics, scheduling and critical path tracking, etc. Identify any integration approaches or methods that would provide additional value when applying these tools. Discuss how Earned Value Management approaches and tools may best be applied.
Issue(s): Where and how should modeling and testing be used in the acquisition strategy?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the various options for employing system and operations modeling and simulations for system definition, evaluation, demonstration (verification and validation), costing, and risk reduction. Identify lessons learned from applying modeling and simulation to acquisition of systems of equivalent complexity. Discuss how the use of modeling and simulation could benefit the testing phase of the program (e.g. by determining a variable testing plan for different systems and applications, as a function of relative risk, maturity, or required performance characteristics). Discuss when and for what reasons you would employ testing in the acquisition strategy, including key systems and subsystems. Include life support, propulsion, power and other critical aspects of Project Constellation (with emphasis on the initial 2014 CEV).
Summarize the technology issues associated with each of the concept variations, including both technology advances that are common to two or more variations, and those that are unique and/or enabling to a specific CEV concept variation. For technologies that are ‘cornerstones’ of specific architectural approaches and/or systems concepts, indicate major technology development risks and thresholds (i.e., the level of improvement in the state-of-the-art needed to enable specific system and architecture options. This should include an assessment of what technologies are viable for incorporation into the planned 2014 first flight of the CEV with crew, the 2011 first flight of the CEV without crew, and the 2008 CEV demonstration flight(s) and technologies or approaches that could be utilized to improve these planned event timelines. A particular topic of interest is the appropriate characterization of quantitative aspects (e.g., performance, cost and risk related ‘metrics’) of particular concepts—as they relate to the higher-level issues indicated above. In addition, address the potential role of robotic lunar missions in validating technologies and concepts of operations for human lunar mission concepts / systems.
Identify at a conceptual level, the science opportunities that would be enabled by the CEV and/or other system elements that could be incorporated into Project Constellation. These should include lunar and other science options. Relate these science opportunities systematically to the options for architectures and operations (under all relevant major variations) identified above. Detailed science definition studies are not required, however qualitative and/or quantitative assessments sufficient to justify major observations and/or findings stated elsewhere in the white paper are desired. Results should be consistent with analyses of options provided elsewhere, including mission models, crew size, payload size, etc.
Issue(s): How should Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) findings and recommendations best be applied to requirements, concepts and plans for future human space exploration beyond LEO?
Suggested paper topics. Examine the consequences of applying the CAIB findings and recommendations to future human and robotic exploration, with particular emphasis on potential human lunar exploration during the coming twenty-plus years. In particular, examine the ‘end-to-end’ consequences of following the CAIB recommendation to separate to the greatest extent possible the launch of cargo and crew (i.e., does the separate launch of cargo and crew imply a possible preference for pre-mission staging of logistics and fuel?). Also, determine the impact of restricting operations to safety levels consistent with CAIB recommendations.
Issue(s): What are the viable options for innovative teaming arrangements?
Suggested paper topics. Discuss the various options for innovative teaming arrangements for exploration systems developments. Address both major and minor development contracts, including public/private partnerships. Identify issues and opportunities related to commercial and/or international collaboration in future exploration efforts in terms of NASA policies concerning teaming arrangements. Consider also in the approach for teaming, the efficient use of existing facilities, both public and private, which may mitigate risk and reduce development cost. What level of set-asides would be consistent with the goals and needs of NASA and the President’s Management Agenda? What should be the roles of civil servants?
Issue(s): What products and/or services in the Nation’s vision might be effectively provided by commercial sources?
Suggested paper topics. EELV launch services are commercially provided under a services contract to NASA today. What other elements of the future exploration program might also be made available in this manner? Consider the level of risk the country would like be ready to accept and the impact of putting commercial products and services on the critical path for future exploration missions. How can the government still maintain an appropriate level of insight into the commercial program’s progress?
Issue(s): What products and/or services to be developed in the course of pursuing the Nation’s exploration vision might be applied to Homeland Security?
Suggested paper topics: NASA developed or sponsored technologies have been applied in a number of instances to improving the intelligence gathering, situational awareness, and positive control of valued areas. What Homeland Security tasks might benefit in the future from exploration systems development?
PUBLIC OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT
Issue(s):A critical aspect of a sustainable exploration program is the sustained engagement of the public in the vision and the mission. How can NASA design an exploration program that continually engages the public in a visceral manner?
Suggested paper topics. What are some ideas for engaging the public in the exploration mission and how does this impact the overall architecture? Explore ideas such as high-bandwidth communication with high-quality video links. Discuss mechanisms that can be employed in the near-term to maintain sustained interest throughout the course of the Vision, by allowing the public to experience some of the challenges that NASA faces in executing exploration missions.
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