Mission Planning and Re-planning for Planetary Extravehicular Activities: Analysis of Excursions in a Mars-Analog Environment and Apollo Program
Future planetary extravehicular activities (EVAs) will go beyond what was experienced during Apollo. As mission duration becomes longer, inevitably, the astronauts on the surface of the Moon and Mars will actively plan and re-plan their own sorties. To design robust decision support aids for these activities, we have to first characterize all the different types of excursions that are possible. This paper describes a framework that organizes parameters and constraints that define a single planetary EVA. We arrived at this framework through case studies: by reviewing the EVA lessons learned during Apollo, conducting an observational study of excursions in a Mars-analog environment, and applying part of the framework to a prototype path planner for human planetary exploration.