BOX 2.1
Definitions of Terms as Understood by the Panel

Enabling research: R&D that enables technology techniques to enhance crew health and performance and new operations concepts and procedures for exploration missions.


Operational experience: Experience in operating the system under discussion.


Operations demonstrations: Demonstrations of new operating concepts and procedures. Although these may use demonstration hardware or software as support, the focus is on the operating concept or procedure rather than on the new technology. This contributes to operational experience for future space systems since the demonstrations are focused on the planned operating concept.


Technology demonstrations: The testing of new technologies and associated procedures either in piece parts or in full systems to demonstrate new technologies and or new systems.


Utilization: A formal NASA program approach to determining how the ISS will be used that includes such elements as R&T planning, experimental facilities, and resource planning.


Utilization planning: The analysis of the needs of approved (funded or committed) payloads for operational resources, leading to a set of firm flight schedules and cargo manifests.a

a  

From the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership Terms and Acronyms Web site. Available at <http://appl.nasa.gov/resources/lexicon/terms_u.html>.

reducing R&D or operations demonstrations can be conducted, these tasks must be migrated to a new ISS utilization plan as soon as possible if there is to be any chance of carrying them out.

Third, none of the planning, prioritization, or utilization studies that the panel was shown appeared to have fully and thoroughly aligned ISS utilization with the needs of the exploration missions as expressed in the ESAS Technology Assessment. While this issue is similar to the one raised above, the point here is that the panel did not see evidence that even current ISS payloads have been aligned thoroughly with exploration mission needs.

Finally, the panel believes it is highly likely that a limited number of new research experiments and operations demonstrations will be identified as necessary to enable the full suite of exploration missions if NASA’s process for realigning ISS utilization rigorously reassesses needs without regard for current ISS utilization planning. In the information presented to it, the panel saw no place within the planning process for inserting new research experiments or operations demonstrations.

INCOMPLETE INFORMATION IN DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS

The ESAS Technology Assessment presented to the panel showed that the decisions leading to the selected exploration architecturea had relied heavily on a computerized decision support tool (for use in prioritizing technologies and ISS experiments, for instance). This tool was able to produce detailed tables and data summaries that created the impression they were supported by validated data.

a  

This architecture included a design for the crew exploration vehicle and architecture for exploration missions, principally for use of the ISS in connection with a lunar sortie.



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