An affordable lunar architecture emphasizing commercial and international partnering opportunities

Since the cancellation of the Constellation Program, NASA officially has been focused on Mars as the next step for human exploration. Yet many in the space community believe that returning humans to the moon is more logical. Often-cited reasons for this include: (1) should nature prove to be favorable, the moon could be the basis for expanding the space economy through off-Earth mining and other commercial endeavors; (2) the moon is scientifically interesting and could serve as a platform for scientific facilities; and (3) useful experience could be gained there for the human journey to Mars.

With this in mind, JPL’s A-Team (Architecture Team) was tasked with developing conceptual lunar surface architectures that could simultaneously provide “living on another world” proving ground experience, but would also be affordable and offer truly significant commercial and international partnering opportunities. The task also required that the resulting architectures must eventually lead to and flow seamlessly into human missions to Mars in the 2030s/2040s, if “things go well.” This aspect has been critically missing in other lunar architecture proposals.

Shishko has worked on operations and logistics issues for NASA’s major human spaceflight projects over the past 33 years. He received two S.B. degrees from M.I.T. and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. Shishko was awarded a NASA Exceptional Achievement Award for the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook SP-6105-1995, and has authored chapters in three Space Technology Series books as well as numerous technical journal papers. In 2012, he served as chief engineer, Infrared Space Systems Directorate, U.S. Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center. He has served on committees that developed national standards for space systems (ANSI/AIAA-S-120A) and systems engineering (EIA-632). Shishko teaches space systems engineering, logistics and economics at the International Space University, and is a charter member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and an AIAA Associate Fellow.

This seminar is part of the Blue Sky Studies Series.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 12:00
Robert Shishko