A Vision for Planetary Exploration

by John F. Connolly, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Robert K. Callaway, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Mark K. Diogu, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Gene R. Grush, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
E. Mason Lancaster, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
William C. Morgan, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
David A. Petri, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Barney B. Roberts, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Lester A. Pieniazek, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Thomas M. Polette, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,
Larry D. Toups, NASA - Johnson Space Center, Houston, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III

Abstract: The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is the latest in a series of endeavors which represent humankind's desire to expand its knowledge and sphere of influence. Throughout recorded history, explorers have trekked the continents, sailed the oceans, and most recently, ventured into space. Scientists have been looking to the stars from the time of Columbus, and have dreamt of exploring the planets. The first realization of the human exploration of the planets, program Apollo, signalled that both the complexity of the technology, and the scope of the organization and participation required for a modern endeavor would be great. Studies such as NASA's '90-day Study' provided evidence that the technologies required for planetary exploration are adequately understood. Few studies to date, however, have analyzed the issues of organization and participation - organization as it applies to structuring an open program for incremental growth, and participation by balancing the resources of government and other potential collaborators. This paper introduces a vision for planetary exploration which combines historical perspective and current NASA studies with the realities of changing political climates, economic environments, and technological directions. The concepts of Strategic Implementation Architectures (SIA). Open System Infrastructure Standards (OSIS) and Minimum Service Level Infrastructure (MSLI) are presented to propose a structure for the SEI which allows the realization of incremental mission objectives, and establishes an investment strategy that efficiently uses public resources and encourages partnerships with the government.

Subject Headings: Space exploration | Infrastructure | Space colonies | Architecture | Federal government | Planets | North America | Ohio | Columbus | United States

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