LEAG 2019 Poster: Elizabeth Frank, Ph.D. (First Mode)

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) by Elizabeth Frank, Ph.D.

Missions through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program will be a departure from the traditional spacecraft development approach in which payloads are designed concurrently with the spacecraft. Using NASA’s Curiosity Rover as a case study, we describe how payloads can impact spacecraft design. We also describe potential challenges and opportunities for the scientific community with this novel approach to space exploration.

For the CLPS program, we identify 4 potential challenges:

  1. Interaction of Non-Scientific Payloads with Scientific Instrumentation

  2. Unprecedented Complexity due to the volume of payloads flown concurrently

  3. Scientific Decision-Making could be hindered due to the lack of a centralized PI

  4. Cost and Schedule Pressure could cause technical compromises to be made

We have also identified 4 potential opportunities:

  1. Faster Technology Development due to more flight opportunities

  2. Reduced Cost through competition

  3. In success, the CLPS model could yield Higher Mission Cadence to other planetary bodies

  4. Lower Barrier to Entry could engage a larger number of scientists and science teams

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