In-Mission Training: Introduction of New Mission Objectives During a Mission Cycle

Long duration human stays on Mars will likely lead to discoveries that motivate new approaches and techniques within a single mission. This would lead to new concepts of operation, new instrument use or new approaches to operating existing hardware that a crew was not trained for prior to the crew’s deployment. The HI-SEAS long duration study enables the introduction of new scientific hardware within a single mission deployment for which the crew has not previously been trained. This study involves the introduction of new instrument hardware, a miniaturized Laser Heterodyne Radiometer (mini-LHR) to measure methane and CO2 in the atmospheric column near the habitat site, for which a training curriculum has been developed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Team. Because this instrument is portable, fits in a backpack, and operates on a single 35W solar panel, it is deployable to remote locations that are often missed by satellite passes due to cloud cover such as southern Asia, the Arctic, and wetlands. In an actual planetary exploration mission, a mini-LHR could be deployed near the astronauts’ habitat to monitor the influence of a human presence on the local Mars environment, such as gas leaks from the habitat or suits. At HI-SEAS, the crew will perform EVAs to operate the already deployed instrument and they will conduct trouble shooting with the Instrument Team within the mission constraints, including the time-delayed communication. Over time, crew members in the field (EV) are likely to depend upon crew members inside the habitat (IV) to support real-time trouble shooting of the hardware. This will provide insights into the development of in-mission training curricula and concepts of operation to best enhance crew productivity as approaches and techniques evolve throughout a mission. Additionally, this task encourages crew autonomy to decide when ideal environmental conditions are present for instrument operation as opposed to other EVA goals. 


Contacts: Jacob Bleacher and Emily Wilson, Research Scientists, Goddard Space Flight Center and