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Planning to Explore: Using a Coordinated Multisource Infrastructure to Overcome Present and Future Space Flight Planning Challenges

Metadata Updated: December 7, 2023

Few human endeavors present as much of a planning and scheduling challenge as space flight, particularly manned space flight. Just on the operational side of it, efforts of thousands of people across hundreds of organizations need to be coordinated. Numerous tasks of varying complexity and nature, from scientific to construction, need to be accomplished within limited mission time frames. Resources need to be carefully managed and contingencies worked out, often on a very short notice. From the beginning of the NASA space program, planning has been done by large teams of domain experts working months, sometimes years, to put together a single mission. This approach, while proven very reliable up to now, is becoming increasingly harder to sustain. Elevated levels of NASA space activities, from deployment of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and completion of the International Space Station (ISS), to the planned lunar missions and permanent lunar bases, will put an even greater strain on this largely manual process. While several attempts to automate it have been made in the past, none have fully succeeded. In this paper we describe the current NASA planning methods, outline their advantages and disadvantages, discuss the planning challenges of upcoming missions and propose a distributed planning/scheduling framework (CMMD) aimed at unifying and optimizing the planning effort. CMMD will not attempt to make the process completely automated, but rather serve in a decision support capacity for human managers and planners. It will help manage information gathering, creation of partial and consolidated schedules, inter-team negotiations, contingencies investigation, and rapid re-planning when the situation demands it. The first area of CMMD application will be planning for Extravehicular Activities (EVA) and associated logistics. Other potential applications, not only in the space flight domain, and future research efforts will be discussed as well.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date December 7, 2023
Data Update Frequency irregular

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date December 7, 2023
Publisher Dashlink
Identifier DASHLINK_388
Data First Published 2011-06-07
Data Last Modified 2020-01-29
Public Access Level public
Data Update Frequency irregular
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id bc0b6baf-d289-4a28-9c48-d4e673dfdbba
Harvest Source Id 58f92550-7a01-4f00-b1b2-8dc953bd598f
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Homepage URL
Program Code 026:029
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 3d6f69f1f0175457dffc7a8b2c1ea849241d9c8c60b8e0c82d4d4ad1daf56dc0
Source Schema Version 1.1

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