Mission Planning & Scheduling Tool for Mission to the Moon
- Created: Friday, 01 September 2006
GMV Space Systems
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, will be launching the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in 2008, its first mission to the Moon and also the first mission in NASA’s Exploration Initiative. LRO will launch on an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) and will then orbit the Moon and collect scientific data for a year. The satellite will study the global topography of the lunar surface, document illumination conditions and resources, map flux of neutrons from the lunar surface to determine evidence of water ice, and provide space radiation measurements for possible future human exploration. The orbiter will also map the temperature of the entire lunar surface, observe the entire lunar surface in the far ultraviolet, and investigate the effects of galactic cosmic rays on tissue-equivalent plastics.
To provide the mission planning and scheduling system for the LRO, NASA selected FlexPlan, which uses a Soft Algorithm Generator to allow the mission and flight rules to be implemented, changed, and validated without recompiling. Because of this flexibility, the software may be used for any type of mission — Earth-orbiting or interplanetary — and may be configured, deployed, and integrated into a mission’s ground segment. With the software, NASA is able to plan, schedule, and manage all phases of the lunar mission. The status and usage of the on-board instruments, power system, and solid-state recorder, as well as the target scheduling, data dumps, and flight dynamic events, will all be coordinated and scheduled using FlexPlan.
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