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Evaluating International Collaboration for Human Exploration Beyond LEO. Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Telecon Colloquium April 9, 2014 Emanuele Capparelli , Skolkovo Institute of Technology Natasha Bosanac , Purdue University . Introduction.

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evaluating international collaboration for human exploration beyond leo

Evaluating International Collaboration for Human Exploration Beyond LEO

Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Telecon Colloquium

April 9, 2014

Emanuele Capparelli, Skolkovo Institute of Technology

Natasha Bosanac, Purdue University

  • Skoltech and MIT put together a collaborative study on future space exploration beyond LEO.
  • Graduate students and young professionals from around the world worked together using online collaborative tools and during a week-long workshop in Moscow.
  • 23 individuals represented 12 nations and 16 institutions with backgrounds spanning engineering, science, policy, and law.
  • Beginning with the basic elements of the missions, technologies, and rationales for future exploration, the group developed a framework to evaluate the prospect of future human exploration beyond LEO.
international collaboration
International Collaboration
  • Collaboration is not a rationale for HSF, it provides sustainability.
  • The benefits of HSF cooperation today
    • Increased total resources available for the program
    • Strengthening technical, economic, and political relationships between partners
    • Program continuity encouraged by political factors
  • There is currently no international consensus for human exploration beyond the ISS
study goals
Study Goals
  • To develop a methodology for evaluating partnerships between a multiplicity of actors involved in Human Spaceflight Missions.
  • To define evaluation metrics that consider the technical and non-technical parameters that influence future mission success.
  • To evaluate possible missions to pursue after the ISS with a number of potential actors involved.
  • To identify technology and policy challenges of future missions.
four abstractions
Four Abstractions
  • Missions
    • The destinations and architectures to pursue
    • Used reference missions from literature in public domain
  • Actors
    • Space agencies, non-governmental organizations, commercial entities, individuals/entrepreneurs
    • Actors have different capabilities and rationales
  • Technologies
    • Capabilities at various readiness levels by actor
  • Rationales
    • Stated beliefs or logical basis for participation in a program
    • Example of US/Russian collaboration on ISS
      • USA wants to collaborate with Russia on the ISS for national security (by employing Russian aerospace engineers).
evaluation framework
Evaluation Framework
  • Inputs are selected missions of interest and possible actors for consideration.
  • Analysis consists of matrices that independently evaluate each actor’s technologies and the rationales for collaborating with the other considered actors.
  • The metrics are calculated based on previous matrices.
inputs scope
Inputs: Scope
  • Three reference missions:
    • ISS-derived module at the EM-L2 to operate as a periodically occupied orbital research station and a gateway to further destinations
    • Constellation Program-derived extended Moon surface exploration
    • Low-energy Near Earth Object (NEO) rendezvous and sample return of four to seven months in duration and supporting a crew of three astronauts using near-term technological capabilities
  • Four actors considered:
    • United States
    • Russia
    • Europe
    • China
reference mission eml2 station
Reference Mission: EML2 Station

Source: Using Existing ISS Hardware to Prepare for Exploration Beyond LEO", Skip Hatfield, NASA JSC, Future In-Space Operations Colloquium, August 10, 2011

  • Technologies:
    • Autonomous Rendezvous
    • Habitat Pressurized Modules
    • Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer
    • Re-Ignitable Cryogenic Engines
    • International Docking Interface
    • High-thrust Electric Propulsion
    • >250 kW Power Source
    • Advanced ECLSS
    • Radiation/MMOD
    • Health Counter-Measures



reference mission moon surface
Reference Mission: Moon Surface

Source: ISECG GER Mission Scenario Details: Moon Next, Roland Martinez, Human Space Exploration Community Workshop on the GER, November 14-16, 2011

  • Technologies:
    • Autonomous Rendezvous
    • Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer
    • Re-Ignitable Cryogenic Engines
    • Radiation/MMOD
    • HLLV
    • HLLV Launch Facilities
    • Crew Vehicle
    • Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance
    • Extended ECLSS
    • Surface Power Generation
    • Health Counter-Measures
    • Dust Mitigation
    • ISRU
    • Long Distance Surface Mobility
    • High Vehicle Reentry System



reference mission neo rendezvous
Reference Mission: NEO Rendezvous

Source: Plymouth Rock: An Early Human Mission to Near Earth Asteroids using Orion Spacecraft, Josh Hopkins & Adam Dissel, Small Bodies Assessment Group, November 2009

  • Technologies:
    • Advanced ECLSS
    • Radiation/MMOD
    • HLLV
    • HLLV Launch Facilities
    • Crew Vehicle
    • Health Counter-Measures
    • Dust Mitigation
    • Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer
    • Re-Ignitable Cryogenic Engines
    • In space science and sample collection
    • Anchoring
    • Astronaut Mobility Systems
    • Long Duration Storage of Power
    • High Velocity Reentry System


analysis technologies
Analysis: Technologies
  • 23 technologies considered in total
  • Technologies populated from reference missions
    • Assumption of similar complexity levels required across missions (e.g. re-ignitable engine requirements assumed constant for each mission)
  • Technologies are evaluated for each potential actor
  • Scores are assignedbased on current TRL of eachtechnology for eachactor
metrics technologies
Metrics: Technologies
  • Partnership Technology Readiness (PTR): considers the highestpossiblecontributions from the partners and assesses the overall partnership TRL for the selectedmission
  • PTR=0 No technology is available at the required level of complexity
  • PTR=1 Full flight-ready portfolio of capabilities
analysis rationales
Analysis: Rationales
  • Rationales for entering into partnership are evaluated independently from technologies.
  • Six different rationale input matrices evaluate how a partnership enhances (or detracts from) a stated rationale:
    • National pride
    • Demonstration of solidarity with allies
    • Ability to shape global space policy
    • Self-sufficiency in space
    • Support for domestic capabilities
    • National security
  • Some rationales are excluded because they are not distinguishing. (E.g. every country wants to participate in exploration for the scientific return).
usa europe rationale satisfaction
USA-Europe Rationale Satisfaction
  • USA-Europe provided as example with rationales in high alignment
  • The rationale of national pride may be more important to the European contributors as they do not have domestic human spaceflight capability.
usa china rationale satisfaction
USA-China Rationale Satisfaction
  • USA-China example demonstrates a case where the current environment has more barriers to partnership
  • Unless the relevant national security and trade policies are changed, domestic industries on both sides could not benefit from the collaboration. (domestic capability)
  • Collaboration between these two partners might improve space policy development both regionally and globally as compared to the current lack of coordination between their space programs. (policy shaping)
partnerships evaluation summary
Partnerships Evaluation Summary
  • Win-Win Partnerships: greatest overall Technology Readiness and Positive Rationale Satisfaction
  • Potential partnerships for every reference mission:
    • USA – Russia
    • USA – Europe
    • USA – Russia – Europe
  • Potential partnership for the EM-L2 mission only:
    • Russia – Europe

N.B. this case study was developed before recent USA-Russia tensions, and is provided as a reference example to showcase the framework. Recent politics may or may not result in long term changes to partnership opportunities.

technology leadership
Technology Leadership
  • When USA is involved, they are the only partner that contributes critical technologies that no one else can offer.
  • EML2 is the only mission considered where non-USA partners can collaborate to implement most of the required architecture.
  • The absence of Russia in the second partnership gives USA significantly more development responsibility. (Expected USA or Russian leadership)
  • If USA-Russia is not a feasible solution, international partnerships are expected to center around either one of these two actors, with Europe and other potential partners joining them (similar to initial USA-Europe-Japan-Canada partnership for ISS).
technology developments
Technology Developments
  • Critical technologies that no actor is developing:
    • >250kW power source (for EML2 mission)
    • Surface Power Generation (for Moon surface mission)
  • NEO technologies are all under-development or ready
  • NASA and US Industries are the only actors effectively developing (above TRL3):
    • Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer
    • High-Thrust Electric Propulsion
    • High Velocity Reentry System
    • Key Moon technologies (Dust mitigation, ISRU, Long-Distance Surface Mobility, Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance)
mission sequencing 1
Mission Sequencing (1)
  • Mission sequencing can be evaluated by considering required incremental developments over time assuming shared technologies are available from previous missions.
mission sequencing 2
Mission Sequencing (2)
  • Desired sequence results in even technology investments over time
    • NEO and Moon’s unique technologies require major starting investment
    • Between the three selected missions, pursuing EML2 results in more evenly spread development projects.
    • Missions with more ambitious technology requirements not considered here may re-prioritize early developments
  • There are multiple actors and different partnerships than can cover the chosen missions trading off technology readiness and rationale satisfaction.
  • China is not included in the strongest partnerships due to current political constraints, however the timeline of exploration may exceed that of geopolitical status quo.
  • Between USA and Russia, every mission can be accomplished.
  • Current US-Russian political tensions open new questions for future collaborative scenarios.
    • An EML2 scenario might be undertakenindipendently by Russia;
    • An HSF program with no interactionbetween US and Russian wouldprobablyhaveeitherone of thesetwoactorsas leader of a small group of partners (e.g. first ISS partnership model)
  • For missions that significantly extend capability beyond the ISS, USA’s contributions lie on the critical path to success.
    • It behooves USA to pursue architectures that engage other actors both according to their technology contributions and their rationales for participating.
  • There are critical technologies not being developed, or developed only by US actors. These represent opportunities to industry and other potential partners. (e.g. 250 kW power source)
  • Approach benefits:
      • Process allows for flexibility: the methodology is not affected by input changes (i.e. state of affairs)
      • Not limited to governmental point of view, commercial partners also considered key actors
      • The international organizational regime of human exploration mandates formal treatment of value delivery to major stakeholders in addition to traditional system architecture analysis
      • Challenges:
      • Mission architectures are taken from literature references with different assumptions
      • Rationales are analyzed independently from technologies
      • Technical Risks, Costs and Schedule are not included in the methodology
        • Overall project cost matching to contributing partner budgets
      • Inputs are non-exhaustive but are well suited to considering a single actor’s potential partners.
team members
Team Members
  • AdemirVrolijk (GWU)
  • Alex Burg (GWU)
  • Ben Corbin (MIT)
  • EmanueleCapparelli (La Sapienza)
  • IgnasiLluch (Skoltech)
  • Ivan Romadanov (Bauman)
  • John Conley (Stanford)
  • Jon Herman (UC Boulder)
  • Jon Mihaly (Caltech)
  • Justin Kugler (UT Houston)
  • Koki Ho (MIT)
  • Laura Delgado López (GWU)
  • Luis Zea (UC Boulder)
  • MaximePuteaux (Paris Sud)
  • Natasha Bosanac (Purdue)
  • Oleg Mansurov (MISIS)
  • Paul Nizenkov (U. Stuttgart)
  • Sara M. Langston (U. Sydney)
  • Stefanie Gonzalez (UC Boulder)
  • Valentina De Amicis (La Sapienza)
  • Valentina Lo Gatto (La Sapienza)
  • Victor Leonov (Bauman)
usa europe rationale satisfaction1
USA-Europe Rationale Satisfaction
  • National pride: Both the United States and Europe receive a positive national pride effect by collaborating with each other. However, as Europe does not have an indigenous HSF program, its national pride will get a more definite boost, and is therefore given a higher score.
  • Demonstration of solidarity with allies: As the United States and Europe are known allies, a maximum score is given to both partners.
  • Ability to shape global policy: Collaboration between these two partners might improve space policy development both regionally and globally. However, since both actors play a major role in the space community, it is not possible to clarify which actor could have a major influence and are, therefore, scored equally.
  • Self-sufficiency in space: The collaboration does not affect partners’ potential self-sufficient future access to space, since the USA is developing a human heavy lift launcher and Europe is explicitly not planning to do so.
  • Support for domestic capabilities: There are complementarities between the partners’ capabilities. US capabilities cover most of the European technologies but the federal budget situation at the time of this writing prevents the USA from developing all the required capabilities for a selected mission. Therefore, as Europe owns a relatively small portfolio of critical technologies, contributions between the two partners can be shared to prevent an overlap of technical developments.
  • National Security: The collaboration does not strongly influence national security policies for either of the partners.
usa china rationale satisfaction1
USA-China Rationale Satisfaction
  • National Pride: Collaboration between USA and China would see a definite national pride boost from the Chinese perspective, while it is unclear if the United States would benefit or not from this collaboration. China is seen as an emerging space leader. and the collaboration would not diminish U.S. national pride. The rationale is therefore considered unaffected from the American point of view.
  • Demonstration of solidarity with allies: Both the USA and China have seen an emergent negative consideration of each other in the recent past. An alliance between these two countries is not easily foreseeable in the near future. Neither actor has allies that would benefit from this collaboration. The score is therefore considered negative for both.
  • Ability to shape global policy: Collaboration between these two partners might improve space policy development both regionally and globally as compared to the current lack of coordination between their space programs. The USA, however, may have more opportunity to shape international policies in space if a collaboration with China was established. Therefore, the two scores have a discrepancy.
  • Self-sufficiency in space: The collaboration does not affect the potential self-sufficient future access to space of the partners, as both countries are developing capabilities whose development would not be hampered in any tangible way.
  • Support for domestic capabilities: US policy prohibits commercial collaboration between American and Chinese space industries. Unless the relevant national security and trade policies are changed, domestic industries on both sides could not benefit from the collaboration. The scores are therefore considered negative for both actors.
  • National security: China is considered a major national security threat to the USA. On the flip side, collaboration with the US could be seen as a possible negative interaction with Chinese national security policies. Therefore, both scores are considered negative with a discrepancy.