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Darlene Lim Colloquium Abstract (December 4, 2019)

Designing and Developing for Human Scientific Exploration of the Moon, Deep Space and Mars

Analogs are destinations on Earth that allow researchers to approximate operational and/or physical conditions on other planetary bodies and within deep space. Over the past decade, select NASA teams have been conducting geobiological field science studies under simulated deep space and Mars mission conditions. Each of these missions integrate scientific and operational research with the goal to identify concepts of operations (ConOps) and capabilities that will enable and enhance scientific return during human and human-robotic missions to the Moon, into deep space, and on Mars. Working under these simulated mission conditions presents a number of unique challenges that are not encountered during typical scientific field expeditions. However, there are significant benefits to this working model from the perspective of the human space flight and scientific operations research community. Specifically, by applying human (and human-robotic) mission architectures to real field science endeavors, we create a unique operational litmus test for those ConOps and capabilities that have otherwise been vetted under circumstances that did not necessarily demand scientific data return meeting the rigors of peer-review standards. This presentation will focus on two on-going NASA analog programs: BASALT (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains), and SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) research projects. These are multi-year programs dedicated to conducting field science research with the expressed goal of iteratively developing, implementing, and evaluating concepts of operations (ConOps) and supporting capabilities intended to enable and enhance human and robotic scientific exploration of the Moon, deep space and Mars.