An extensive series of 3-, 14-, and 28-day-long lunar mission simulations through the Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) program provided an opportunity to explore a new operational paradigm that closely integrates science operations during extravehicular activities (EVA) with traditional flight operations. A Mission Control Center (MCC) was developed with dual science and flight consoles, rather than a flight MCC with a backroom of scientists.
To begin training scientists to work in a flight operations environment involving crew, a two-week immersive training activity was developed that utilizes facilities at the Johnson Space Center’s (JSC’s) flight training facility, with additional instructional content presented at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). Participants will be taught space flight resource management (SFRM) skills, learn to develop and share situational awareness in a complex mission environment, learn to develop better active listening skills, learn communication protocols, how to package comm-loop calls, and problem solving skills relevant to a human mission environment. In addition, participants will discuss Gateway-related operations, including a required tele-operation element, the evolving Design Reference Mission (DRM) for lunar surface landing sites and traverses, and an introduction to EVA operations that will utilize the new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) for astronauts. Those activities will be integrated with two lunar mission simulations that the Flight Operations Directorate (FOD) developed for training purposes.
The training program was developed by LPI and JSC staff and is led by Dr. David A. Kring, of the LPI, who has analytical experience with lunar samples, field experience in impact-cratered and volcanic terrains, provided basic geologic instruction to astronauts in those types of planetary surface settings, worked with crew as a Science Leader (SciLead) during lunar mission simulations, led a large number of lunar landing site and traverse design studies, and is the Principal Investigator of a team in NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, which is providing support for this training program. Critical SFRM training will be led by JSC specialists with flight operations and EVA experience.
The training program will occur August 3–14, 2020. Participants must be U.S. citizens. This is a professional training program open to early career, mid-career, and senior scientists. Some travel support will be available for selected participants.
To apply for the program, please submit a letter that summarizes your capabilities and how they would support human exploration of the lunar surface. The application should include a description of any experience with field geology and lunar samples, a curriculum vitae, and bibliography. Please submit these materials via email to David Kring (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, April 24, 2020.