Technical & Logistical Challenges of ISS Operations from aCanadian Perspective Chris Lorenz Special Assistant to the President CSA
Presentation Overview • Introduction • Challenges encountered since Columbia Tragedy • Planning for missions – a moving target! • Tracking system trends with a flexible duty cycle • Looking ahead • Conclusion
Challenges since Columbia • Due to the Columbia tragedy, the ISS Program has had to make significant adjustments to its plans and schedules. • The ISS crew complement has been reduced to two (2) crewmembers to stretch consumable resources while preserving operational viability.
The MSS has not performed any assembly operations since the Columbia accident. It has primarily performed vehicle viewing operations.
Planning – A Moving Target • Due to the changing assembly sequence, the robotics support provided by the MSS is in continuous flux to accommodate the changing mission(s). • While changes in mission plans are not unusual, the scope and number of changes are having a significant impact on CSA.
Planning – A Moving Target • Assembly requirements take precedence over any other requirements, pushing manifest items that are not assembly-related down the priority list. • This has a direct impact on planning science and/or maintenance activities, as the "target" keeps moving.
Systems Trends • Planning for MSS maintenance has also become more difficult, due primarily to significant changes in MSS duty cycle since launch. • Accurate trend data is vital in ensuring that plans for maintenance and sparing can be accurately made. Flexibility remains key to ensuring operational capabilities.
Systems Trends • Due to the changes in the assembly sequence, it is likely that ISS maintenance operations will be different than first projections. • Those changes will have a direct impact on the planning of operations and maintenance of Dextre, Canada's special purpose robot.
Looking Ahead • Planning efforts are now focused on the first assembly missions, with an emphasis on accomplishing the tasks required to get the program moving. • A new assembly sequence will allow for relative stability in the medium and long-term (robotic) planning processes. Short-term planning will remain dynamic.
Conclusion • The past fifteen (15) months have been very challenging for the ISS Program. • The strength of the ISS partnership has been demonstrated during these difficult times. The continuous manning and operation of the ISS is a credit to all of the partners on this great program.