. 24/7 Space News .
Orion Simulations Help Engineers Evaluate Mission Operations for Crew
by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb 23, 2016

Flight controllers took part in a joint simulation with astronauts to evaluate the prototype Orion crew display and control system, advanced caution and warning system for flight controllers and communication protocols. For a larger version of this image please go here.

When the first astronauts travel to deep space in Orion, they'll know their mission is solidly built on years of hard work by engineers on the ground. While manufacturing and assembly work continues on the Orion spacecraft for its first uncrewed mission atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in 2018, currently known as Exploration Mission-1, a multi-NASA center team also has been busy developing displays and controls for flights with astronauts and testing advanced software to ensure human deep space missions on the journey to Mars are a success.

In early February, flight controllers and astronauts took part in a joint simulation to evaluate the prototype Orion crew display and control system, advanced caution and warning system for flight controllers and communication protocols. The test was conducted in the Rapid Prototyping Lab (RPL) at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where engineers are creating and evaluating the display and control systems that Orion's crew will use to navigate and operate the spacecraft.

"One of the main things this simulation was designed for was to figure out what the first contact between crew and mission controllers looks like," said Jeff Fox, deputy of the RPL. "We wanted to see how the crew interface systems we're developing work with the team on the ground."

Orion will have a sophisticated display and control system as well as advanced software and operational concepts to aid the crew on long missions far from Earth, where astronauts will be required to work more independently than on missions in low-Earth orbit. On the space shuttle, there were nearly 2,000 switches and controls used to operate the orbiter.

NASA's new spaceship will have software to allow the crew to command the vehicle in most scenarios using just three display screens, saving mass and volume.

"We're evaluating a totally new software model that allows us to automatically diagnose if a failure occurs during a mission and for messages to be displayed for flight controllers on the ground," said Haifa Moses, a human factors engineer who is working on NASA's autonomous systems and operations project.

The February simulation involved two astronauts and several flight controllers, including a flight director, capsule communicator or CAPCOM to communicate with the crew, and controllers who manage electrical power subsystems and environmental control and life support elements. Together they worked through a failure scenario in which part of Orion's power system failed.

This scenario required troubleshooting to get pumps and other systems back up and running to support the systems the crew needs to survive. Evaluating extreme failure scenarios is a routine part of training for mission in space.

"This is one of the first times we've integrated these two teams and had communications across headsets and have been able to practice making calls," said Moses.

As the RPL continues to build and evaluate the displays for crew, it also is providing hand-on engineering experience for students in Texas. Mechanical engineering students at the University of Texas at Tyler have designed and built a mount to attach the cursor control device that serves as one way to operate Orion's displays, also delivering their hardware to NASA in February.

"The students worked through the product development process, conducted several different analyses and design reviews, along with building prototypes the same way that we do at NASA, which gives the students real world experience in the engineering field," said Fox.

Students from the university previously designed and built seatbacks and headrests for an Orion mockup housed at Johnson, which is used to train crew and evaluate hardware, along with additional support hardware.

As engineers continue to develop Orion's display, controls and software for crewed flights, teams will conduct additional simulations. The RPL will also continue to look for potential ways to include student ingenuity in the lab.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Orion at NASA
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Alpha Centauri: Our First Target for Interstellar Probes
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 22, 2016
With the completion of New Horizons' primary mission of Pluto fly-by, should we now set our sights even much higher, ambitiously taking aim at other star systems? If so, Alpha Centauri would be probably considered as the best target for an interstellar spacecraft due to its "proximity" to Earth. This system, consisting of three stars and possible planetary companions, is the nearest to sol ... read more

NASA chooses ASU to design and operate special satellite

Chinese scientists invent leak detection system for moon exploration

Aldrin recounts successes and challenges of historic space journey

Edgar Mitchell, astronaut who walked on Moon, dead at 85

Jarosite in the Noctis Labyrinthus Region of Mars

Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli are joined

Footprints of a martian flood

Russia plans return to Mars, Moon despite money woes

Alpha Centauri: Our First Target for Interstellar Probes

Tourists could soon benefit from direct flights to Baikonur Space Center

Virgin Galactic unveils new spaceship 16 months after deadly crash

NASA sees record number of astronaut applications

Staying Alive on Tiangong 2

China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket

Last Launch for Long March 2F/G

China aims for the Moon with new rockets

Send your computer code into space with astronaut Tim Peake

Black Mold Found in Cargo Prepared for ISS, Resupply Mission Delayed

Putting the Public in the Shoes of Space Station Science

Russians spacewalk to retrieve biological samples

Launcher and satellite preparations continue for Ariane 5's mission with EUTELSAT 65 West A

JAXA Launches X-ray Astronomy Satellite

ULA Launches NROL-45 Payload for the National Reconnaissance Office

SES-9 Launch Targeting Late February

Longest-Lasting Stellar Eclipse Discovered

Astronomers take images of an exoplanet changing over time

First detection of super-earth atmosphere

Hubble Directly Measures Rotation of Cloudy 'Super-Jupiter'

Saab's new GlobalEye radar integrated with Bombardier jet

Russian Scientists Against Using Nuclear Weapons to Clear Space Debris

US, Spain to Jointly Monitor Outer Space Traffic

Scientists prove feasibility of 'printing' replacement tissue

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.