Virtual Idea Lab

Research Papers > Space Policy Papers

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    Hubble Space Telescope: Dawn of the Era of Servicable Spacecraft.pdf

    (Click on title to download pdf) The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), scheduled for launch in late 1988, is the first spacecraft designed for extensive on-orbit servicing. The launch of this vehicle will usher in a new generation of spacecraft: spacecraft designed to include on-orbit servicing as an integral part of their operational plans. The HST's operational plan calls for servicing to be performed during planned maintenance missions scheduled at periodic intervals throughout its projected lifetime, and during any unscheduled contingency maintenance missions. The maintenance philosophy of the Hubble Space Telescope is based on removal and replacement of orbital replaceable units (ORUs).
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    Mission Possible?

    (Click on title to download pdf) More than four decades ago, John F. Kennedy stood before Congress and asked for the moon. Despite nay-sayers, the American spirit prevailed, and the United States’ fledgling space program, along with the popularity of its new president, blasted off. More recently, President George W. Bush called for that same support for his Moon, Mars, and Beyond program. On January 19, 2004, President Bush revealed his vision for the future of space exploration, including a manned mission to the moon as early as 2015, and one to Mars by 2030. Like Kennedy, President Bush faced substantial skepticism. Though the presidential requests bear similarities, the mission to Mars requires significantly more advanced technology, research, and financial resources. However, a permanent lunar base would alleviate some of the risks of future space missions. It would also signify substantial progress toward the realization of human missions to Mars.
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    Space-Based Servicing

    (Click on title to download pdf) One of the most viable economic and ideological justifications for a permanent, manned Space Station is the concept of on-orbit servicing of spacecraft and payloads. The capability to extend and enhance operational lifetimes of earth-orbiting experiments at a space-based facility offers tremendous benefit to federal and commercial interests alike, the scope of which is just beginning to be comprehended.
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    The Effects of Automation on Work in Space

    (Click on title to download pdf) As humans spend an increasing amount of time in space, technology is driven to achieve ever greater capabilities. In fact, mankind's endeavors in space can be considered to be society's greatest technology driver. One of the most difficult challenges to be faced in the space program is that of implementing new technologies in a way that optimizes the allocation of functions between man and machine. The goal of this paper is to investigate the nature of the relationship between automation and the astronaut's work in space, particularly with respect to the following issues: the relationship between technology and work; productivity versus astronaut job satisfaction; the effect of automation on astronaut skills.