Assessing the Acceptability of Science Operations Concepts and the Level of Mission Enhancement of Capabilities for Human Mars Exploration Extravehicular Activity

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Abstract

The Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) research project is investigating tools, techniques, and strategies for conducting Mars scientific exploration extravehicular activity (EVA). This has been accomplished through three science-driven terrestrial field tests (BASALT-1, BASALT-2, and BASALT-3) during which the iterative development, testing, assessment, and refinement of concepts of operations (ConOps) and capabilities were conducted. ConOps are the instantiation of operational design elements that guide the organization and flow of personnel, communication, hardware, software, and data products to enable a mission concept. Capabilities include the hardware, software, data products, and protocols that comprise and enable the ConOps. This paper describes the simulation quality and acceptability of the Mars-forward ConOps evaluated during BASALT-2. It also presents the level of mission enhancement and acceptability of the associated Mars-forward capabilities. Together, these results inform science operations for human planetary exploration.

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Beaton, K. H., Chappell, S. P., Abercromby, A. F. J., Miller, M. J., Kobs Nawotniak, S. E., Brady, A. L., … Lim, D. S. S. (2019). Assessing the Acceptability of Science Operations Concepts and the Level of Mission Enhancement of Capabilities for Human Mars Exploration Extravehicular Activity. Astrobiology, 19(3), 321–346. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2018.1912

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