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Jeremy Frank Participates in International Partners Meeting on Use of International Space Station as Mars Analog
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Jeremy Frank Participates in International Partners Meeting on Use of International Space Station as Mars Analog

Dr. Jeremy Frank participated in a series of meetings on the use of the International Space Station as a Mars analog, organized by Dr. Julie Robinson, the NASA International Space Station (ISS) Chief Scientist. These meetings included participation from all ISS International Partners. The meetings opened with an introductory session, describing challenges with the usage of the ISS as a Mars analog, and were followed by several breakout sessions on individual topics surrounding the ISS as an analog approach. For each of the sessions, participants were asked the following questions:

  • What are the key challenges in “Autonomous Systems and Crew-Centered Autonomy” for a Mars Mission?
  • How could the ISS be modified to help address or simulate these challenges?
  • What one or two recommendations should be made to the ISS Partnership that would increase exploration relevance, simulation opportunities for research, and testing of solutions?

Dr. Frank participated in the ‘Team H’ breakout, ‘Autonomous Systems and Crew-Centered Autonomy’, and presented on both crew-centered autonomy and vehicle systems, as well as material on in-vehicle and extra-vehicle robotics developed by Dr. Terry Fong (who could not participate at the last minute due to jury duty). This round of meetings will be followed by a meeting next spring, with a report to follow.

BACKGROUND: Space agency leaders of the International Space Station (ISS) International Partnership held a workshop to consider possible new and innovative uses of the ISS as an analog for Mars missions. The purpose of this workshop was to bring together international strategic leaders in human spaceflight to develop creative approaches with the ISS as an analog in preparation for a Mars mission that would be implemented in its third decade of operations. With a few temporary changes in operations approaches, the ISS Partnership could simulate aspects of Mars missions, including communications and autonomy for transits far from Earth and planetary landings. Understanding the operational capabilities of the crew and evolving operations paradigms for success in challenging new environments are key ways that the ISS enables future exploration. By including perspectives from all ISS partner agencies and bringing together expertise from the research community and medical operations and flight operations community, this workshop serves to develop synergies between these communities in defining the use of ISS as an analog. The workshop will develop recommendations about exploration challenges, what temporary changes need to be made in operations to simulate those challenges on ISS, and ensure that testing is conducted in a way that advances knowledge of the integrated human system.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program, Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

TEAM: NASA, the Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities


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