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Resource Prospector Conducts Successful Distributed Operations Test
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Resource Prospector Conducts Successful Distributed Operations Test

The Resource Prospector (RP) Mission Operations (MOS), Ground Data Systems (GDS), rover, and project teams conducted a successful distributed operations test August 21, and 24-26. During the test, the team demonstrated the distributed operations capability required for a successful RP mission. Rover driving, overall mission direction, rover system commanding, mission system engineering, prospecting instrument science, and distributed GDS operations were the responsibility of the mission node at Ames. Payload command and control and operations were conducted from the payload node at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Rover systems monitoring, operation of the prototype rover, and local rover commanding for testing was performed at Johnson Space Center (JSC).

On day one, the team tested driving and positioning capability. On day two, the full mission-like scenario was executed, including prospecting, rover positioning over the drill tube, drilling, sample collection, and processing. All primary test objectives were accomplished by the end of day two. On day three (a half day due to weather) and the extended day, the team practiced driving over more challenging terrain, as well as testing the real-time prospecting science decision process.

BACKGROUND: Resource Prospector aims to be the first mining expedition on another world. Using a suite of instruments to locate elements from a lunar southern polar region, the planned rover is designed to excavate volatiles such as hydrogen, oxygen, and water from the Moon. Building on the findings of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions that proved the existence of water on the Moon, Resource Prospector plans to take the next step to harvest those resources.

PROGRAM FUNDING: Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Division, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ARC TEAM: Mark Allan, Robert Carvalho, Amanda Cook, Matt Deans, Rick Elphic, Erin Fritzler, Mike Furlong, Charles Hacskaylo, Sarah Hobart, Scott Miller, Pete Richards, John Schreiner, Mark Shirley, Jay Trimble, and Victor Woeltjen

POC: Jay Trimble, jay.p.trimble@nasa.gov

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